Joan of Arc was born in France in 1412. She was born to a peasant family in the village of Domremy, an area in north-east France. Joan of Arc receive little formal education in her early years. However, she did receive a love for the Church and spiritual teachings from her mother who was a devout Catholic.
Joan of Arc lived at a time when England was at a bitter military conflict with France. She had visions which told her that she would lead the French to victory. So she became a knight, a spiritual leader and ultimately a canonized saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
At the age of 13, Joan of Arc started receiving spiritual visions. In her visions, she saw notable saints like Saint Margaret. She also met with the Archangel Michael. In these visions, she was told that she would lead the French forces to victory.
She was also told that she should take Charles VII to Rheims so that he could be consecrated. Joan of Arc later stated that these were beautiful visions. She continued to have these visions for many years. Finally, when she was 16, she decided to act by these visions. This is when she set out on a journey to meet Charles VII.
Joan of Arc sought an escort from the French garrison in a nearby town so that she could travel to Chinon to meet Charles VII. The garrison commander mocked her and didn’t believe her when she spoke of her visions. However, he was subsequently convinced of her spiritual powers and gave her an escort to take to the King.
When Joan of Arc met Charles VII, he was greatly impressed by her. Joan asked him to grant her a band of troops so that she could fight the English at Orleans. In opposition to his generals and commanders, Charles VII accepted this request. This shows that he came to believe Joan of Arc and trust her. She would later accompany Charles VII to Rheims and on his coronation.
Clad in white armor and riding on a white horse, Joan of Arc led the French troops. At the time, the English forces were besieging the city of Orleans and the French has previously suffered many defeats. Joan of Arc rallied the courage of the French troops and attacked the English alongside them. In the ensuing fight, the French were victorious which marked their first notable victory in many years.
Joan of Arc followed up on this by defeating English forces in other areas and capturing many other towns along the path to Rheims. As a knight, she was fearless and fought at the front lines.
In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the English. She was only 18 at the time. She was accused of heresy and cross-dressing. In an unfair trail where she was falsely accused, she was sentenced to being burned at the stake.
Joan of Arc was executed by burning at the stake in 1431. The Roman Catholic Church subsequently annulled the sentence and canonized her as a saint of the church.