Paper: An Introduction to the Life of Joan of Arc

After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the seas of Orleans in May 8, 1429. At the battle of Orleans in May 1429, Joan led the troops to a miraculous victory over the English. She continued fighting the enemy in other locations along the Loire. Fear of troops under her leadership was so formidable that when she approached Lord Talbot's army at Patay, most of the English troops and Commander Sir John Fastolfe fled the battlefield. Fastolfe was later stripped of his Order of the Garter for this act of cowardice. Although Lord Talbot stood his ground, he lost the battle and was captured along with a hundred English noblemen and lost 1800 of his soldiers. Joan then enjoyed a series of military successes, during which the king was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side. In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouenby a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop. Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of God who had demanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death a heretic , sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on Mary 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt, and she was ultimately canonised in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, making official what the people had known for centuries. Her feast day is May 30....