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The Faith of Joan of Arc

Regarding female heroes throughout history, undoubtedly one of the most famous has to be Joan of Arc. Her exploits in the Hundred Years War are legendary where she managed to inspire the Kingdom of France to continue fighting right during a time when they were struggling against the might of the English armies. Under her leadership, they managed to push the English back and revitalize the French army.

In many ways, she represents the classic hero’s journey of a young hero receiving the call to action, going from a nobody to a hero, and helping save her kingdom. But while she was the quintessential warrior maiden, she was also incredibly pious.

All her actions in the Hundred Years War were because she believed the lord was speaking to her. While still a peasant, Joan claimed she saw visions of God who commanded her to present herself before Charles VII, a claimant to the throne, and help him secure the crown.

As part of this promise, she would join the army marching to relieve the city of Orleans from an English siege. Believing that God had sent her on a divine mission, she acted as a figurehead for the French troops, inspiring them with speeches and sermons.

This inspiration also carried over to the battlefield where she donned armor and joined her soldiers in fighting the English. It was said that she carried a white banner used to inspire her soldiers. Despite suffering multiple injuries, Joan was fearless in battle and continued to join her troops, believing that God would not allow her to die.

Unfortunately, that faith would also lead to her downfall as Joan would be captured and placed on trial by the Inquisition. They charged her with heresy as no person hears the voice of god and what she must have been hearing was the voices of demons.

The trial would drag on for several months as the inquisition questioned everything about Joan, from her childhood to her decision to wear men’s clothes. In the end, they offered her a deal. If she recanted her beliefs, she would be allowed to live. However, Joan’s faith was too strong and she refused to change her beliefs. As punishment, she was burned at a stake.

Throughout her trial, many quotes highlight Joan’s faith and her commitment to the service of God such as this one below.

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