Joan of Arc, daughter of Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, was born in Domrémy in Lorraine on 5 or 6 January 1412, during the Hundred Years' War. At that time, the French kingdom was divided into two camps: the English, supported by the Burgundians, against the loyal followers of the French king. Jeanne's ordinary childhood does not, at any time, foreshadow her fate. She even explains that she obtained her mission to liberate France by divine revelation. At the age of 16, this very pious young girl set off and asked to join the troops of the Dauphin Charles VII of France. Distrustful, Charles finally agreed to let Jeanne accompany the reinforcement troops to Orleans, where the situation was desperate. Initially considered a good luck charm, Joan of Arc proves herself. She becomes a real war leader, with a military house and manages to dazzle her companions with her dexterity on horseback and with the lance.
Joan of Arc became an emblematic figure in French history. She led the French troops victoriously against the English armies, raising the siege of Orleans, leading the Dauphin to the coronation in Reims and thus helping to reverse the course of the Hundred Years' War. Nicknamed the Maid of Orleans, she was finally captured by the Burgundians at Compiègne, sold to the English and, after a trial for heresy, burned at the stake in Rouen on 30 May 1431. This trial was marred by numerous serious irregularities and was quashed by Pope Calixtus III in 1456. A second rehabilitation trial concluded that she was innocent and raised her to the rank of martyr.
She was beatified in 1909 and canonised in 1920. She is one of the three patron saints of France.
● Michael Tilly: Joan of Arc, in: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, Band II Verlag Traugott Bautz ,1990, Spalten 1595-1600.
● Marie-Véronique Clin: Jeanne d'Arc, Éditions Le Cavalier Bleu, 2003, 123 p.