Joan of Arc



Joan of Arc


A French saint and a heroine in the Hundred Years\' war was Joan of Arc.
This farm girl helped save the French from English command and was often called
the Maid Orleans and the Maid of France. Her inspiration led the French to many
victories.
Joan Of Arc (In French Jeanne d\'Arc) was born around 1412, in the
village of Domremy, France. She was a peasant girl who, like many girls of that
time, could not read or write. Her father, Jacques, was a wealthy tenant farmer
and her mother, Isabelle Romee, taught her how to sow, spin, and cook which she
was proud of. She also spent much of her time praying to and serving God. She
lived like most children did at that time, until when she was about thirteen.
According to Wagenknecht: "The Vision first came when she was first
thirteen...." 1 The vision was Saint Michael who said she should be a good
girl and go to church. When more and more Visions had come it started coming
clearer to her and when she saw Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret her duty was
clear, she was the chosen one to crown Charles the VII. 2
Since France had been fighting with England in what was called the
Hundred Years\' War, much of Northern France was captured by the English,
including Reims where the coronation for kings had been held for over centuries
before him. Since Reims was captured, Charles the VII, who had not yet been
crowned; was still called the Dauphin. When Joan had these visions of Saint
Catherine and Saint Margaret, she told her family and friends. When she told
her father, he would not let her go. After when these Visions told her that
England and Burgundy, England\'s ally, were going to capture Orleans, one of
France\'s last strong forces, she knew she had to react. She needed to go to the
governor of Vaucouleurs, an agent of the Dauphin, and convince him to give her
an army to escort her to the Dauphin.
She first needed an escort to come with her to see the governor so she
asked her cousin, Durand Laxart. He, at first, was skeptical about it, but then
he soon came to Joan\'s side. When she told the governor, Robert de Baudricourt,
he said she was a fool and she should go home. But after some time of waiting,
Baudri-court let her go, under his protection, to the Dauphin with male
clothing, a sword, 3 a safe conduct pass, and a small escort. They departed
February 23. They safely traveled at night on byroads for eleven days from
Vacouleurs to Chinon. They slept in the open air and disguised Joan, so the
English would not notice her when she attended Mass in the towns they went
through.
After some time arriving in Chinon, she was escorted to where the
Dauphin was. The Dauphin was among his courtiers and she carefully picked him
out, while he was among his courtiers. She went there.

Jean Benedetti described it:

Joan made her entrance and according to Jean Cartier, Charles VII\'s
official historian, curtsied as though she had been doing it her whole life.
She was a striking woman who dressed, and in many ways behaved, like a man and
yet had feminine qualities of compassion and tenderness. Everyone who met was
impressed the force of her personality. She had \'charisma\'. Moreover she
provided a minor wonder by recognizing the king who was hiding among his
courtiers, trying to look inconspicuous, and doubtless succeeding. When she
addressed him he de denied that he was the king, pointing to one of his
courtiers with the words, \'You are mistaken, there is the king.\' But Joan
persisted, calling him \'Gentle Dauphin\'. 2

Joan and the Dauphin spent some time together talking together and she told him
4 that God has sent her there to tell him that God has said that he will be
anointed and crowned king in Reims.
The decision was to be postponed for a few months. There was a
commission to inspect Joan\'s history; to make sure that she was really sent by
God and not the devil. And Joan herself was questioned and tested at the
University of Poitiers and she also had to have a verification by matron to
prove that she was a virgin. After three weeks the court claimed that she was
acceptable. Even though there were myths said about the situation, they wanted
her story to be true. If it was not true, than who would save them? As Pierre
Goubert stated,