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 calledthe Maid Orleans and the Maid of France. Her inspiration led the French to manyvictories. Joan Of Arc (In French Jeanne d’Arc) was born around 1412, in thevillage of Domremy, France.
She was a peasant girl who, like many girls of thattime, could not read or write. Her father, Jacques, was a wealthy tenant farmerand her mother, Isabelle Romee, taught her how to sow, spin, and cook which shewas proud of. She also spent much of her time praying to and serving God. Shelived like most children did at that time, until when she was about thirteen. According to Wagenknecht: “The Vision first came when she was firstthirteen. .Order now
. . ” 1The vision was Saint Michael who said she should be a goodgirl and go to church. When more and more Visions had come it started comingclearer to her and when she saw Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret her duty wasclear, she was the chosen one to crown Charles the VII. 2Since France had been fighting with England in what was called theHundred Years’ War, much of Northern France was captured by the English,including Reims where the coronation for kings had been held for over centuriesbefore him.
Since Reims was captured, Charles the VII, who had not yet beencrowned; was still called the Dauphin. When Joan had these visions of SaintCatherine and Saint Margaret, she told her family and friends. When she toldher father, he would not let her go. After when these Visions told her thatEngland and Burgundy, England’s ally, were going to capture Orleans, one ofFrance’s last strong forces, she knew she had to react. She needed to go to thegovernor of Vaucouleurs, an agent of the Dauphin, and convince him to give heran army to escort her to the Dauphin.
She first needed an escort to come with her to see the governor so sheasked her cousin, Durand Laxart. He, at first, was skeptical about it, but thenhe 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 maleclothing, a sword, 3 a safe conduct pass, and a small escort. They departedFebruary 23. They safely traveled at night on byroads for eleven days fromVacouleurs to Chinon.
They slept in the open air and disguised Joan, so theEnglish would not notice her when she attended Mass in the towns they wentthrough. After some time arriving in Chinon, she was escorted to where theDauphin was. The Dauphin was among his courtiers and she carefully picked himout, while he was among his courtiers. She went there.
Jean Benedetti described it:Joan made her entrance and according to Jean Cartier, Charles VII’sofficial 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 andyet had feminine qualities of compassion and tenderness. Everyone who met wasimpressed the force of her personality. She had ‘charisma’.
Moreover sheprovided a minor wonder by recognizing the king who was hiding among hiscourtiers, trying to look inconspicuous, and doubtless succeeding. When sheaddressed him he de denied that he was the king, pointing to one of hiscourtiers with the words, ‘You are mistaken, there is the king. ‘ But Joanpersisted, calling him ‘Gentle Dauphin’. 2Joan and the Dauphin spent some time together talking together and she told him4 that God has sent her there to tell him that God has said that he will beanointed and crowned king in Reims.
The decision was to be postponed for a few months. There was acommission to inspect Joan’s history; to make sure that she was really sent byGod and not the devil. And Joan herself was questioned and tested at theUniversity of Poitiers and she also had to have a verification by matron toprove that she was a virgin. After three weeks the court claimed that she wasacceptable. Even though there were myths said about the situation, they wantedher story to be true.
If it was not true,