2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Joan of Arc
The youngest of five children, Joan was baptized c. 1412 at Domremy in Lorraine. The daughter of a farmer, she began, at 13, to hear the voices of the Archangel Michael and Sts. Catherine and Margaret of Antioch, who told her that she had a special mission to help the dauphin gain the crown of France and the French oust the English from the country. Her first attempt to persuade an officer in the French army of the veracity of her visions failed. In 1429, she successfully predicted the French victory at Herrings, and Robert de Baudricourt arranged for her to meet with the dauphin. Joan became a leader in the French army and was at Rheims when Charles VII was crowned king of France. Joan continued to lead her army against the alliance of the English and the Burgundians, who sought to rule all of France. The Burgundians captured Joan in 1430 and turned her over to the English, who tried her as a witch and a heretic. She maintained the truth of her visions in the ecclesiastical courts. Found guilty, she recanted when she learned that she was to be turned over to secular authority. Her request for an appeal to Martin V was denied. She later recanted her abjuration and was burned at the stake in 1431. Callixtus III cleared her name in 1456, and Benedict XV canonized her in 1920.
Karen Rae Keck
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