Saint Joan of Arc on the morning of her execution
Despite being instrumental in French victories over English forces at Orléans, Meung-sur-Loire, Beaugency, Patay, Auxerre, Troyes, and Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier, during the Hundred Years War, and prominent in the Coronation of Charles VII, and being wounded three times in battle, she was charged with heresy.
After she was captured during the battle of Margny, Joan was put on trial in the French city of Rouen on January 9th, 1431. She was accused of blasphemy along with heresy. She was quickly found guilty and turned over to the English for punishment.
On May 30th, 1431, at the age of 19, Joan was executed by being burned at the stake.
Twenty-five years after her death, in 1456, an inquisition investigated her trial and found it was riddled with deceit and procedural errors. After the inquisition, Joan of Arc was revered as a martyr and became a daughter of the Roman Catholic Church. She was an early feminist as well as being independent and symbolic of women’s freedom to act as their conscience dictated.
She became a national symbol of France and in 1920 she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, then, in 1922, she was declared a patron saint of France.
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