Nine Things You Did Not Know About Joan of Arc
Nine Things You Did Not Know About Joan of Arc

Nine Things You Did Not Know About Joan of Arc

Ed - August 2, 2016

Nine Things You Did Not Know About Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc’s birthplace and now a museum

Joan’s Trial and Execution

The English put Joan on trial on the capital charge of heresy and witchcraft. During the trial, the ordinary country girl amazed the court with her articulate defence of her actions and her great knowledge of theology. During her imprisonment, she was ill-treated and threatened with torture. Many times she was threatened with rape. In May 1431, the tribunal announced that Joan of Arc was guilty of heresy. It claimed that the voices that she heard were demonic and that she was in reality, a witch. On the morning of May 30, she was taken to Rouen public square and burned at the stake. She was placed on a huge pile of wood and died to a stake. She was offered the chance of an easy death, by strangling, if she admitted that she was a witch. Joan refused she genuinely believed that she has received visions from God to save France.

The English set fire to the wood and Joan was burned alive. It was a horrible death. However, the young girl still only a teenager did not cry out or beg for her life.

Joan was only nineteen years old. She died bravely, protesting her innocence.

“My Voices did come from God and everything that I have done was by God’s order”.

Nine Things You Did Not Know About Joan of Arc
Statue of Joan of Arc in Philadelphia

Joan’s Reputation and Legacy

It was only after her death that the French King showed any interest in Joan. The new French King, who had done nothing to save declared Joan innocent. He also designated her a martyr. Some twenty years after her death the Pope declared her innocent of all charges.

Joan was never forgotten. The French Church was somewhat suspicious of her claims to be having visions sent from God. However, by the nineteenth century, the French Church saw her as an exemplary Catholic and a true Catholic. She was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church in 1920. Today Catholics all over the world pray to St Joan.

The One Hundred Years War was decisive in the history of France. Joan changed the history of France when she went to the French prince with her visions. She helped to turn the tide for France and helped to save her country from annexation by the English. St Joan helped the French to win the Hundred Years War and end any English claims to the throne of French. also led to major changes in France. The kingdom had been a loose network of semi-independent territories was now a nation, with a bureaucracy and a central government. The powers of the nobility were limited and came increasingly under the control of the king. The King was now the main figure in political life and he ruled a formidable state. The French established a standing army and moved away from employing mercenaries and knights in battle. This were profound changes and they were widely emulated by kingdoms elsewhere in Europe, in the late medieval period.