Joan of Arc: Martyr and a Patron Saint of France

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Kelly Macquire
published on 19 October 2021
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Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) was born in c. 1412 to a peasant farmer in Domremy in Medieval France, but at only 13 years old she received a vision that she should lead the French to victory over the English in the Hundred Years War. Eventually, she would become both a martyr and a patron saint of France, shortly after being burned at the stake as a heretic.

Joan made her way to Vaucouleurs to the office of the captain of the garrison, Robert de Baudricourt. She asked to be taken to see the dauphin but she was rejected at least twice before she convinced de Baudricourt of her seriousness. At this time during the Hundred Years' War, the throne of France was being disputed between the dauphin Charles and the Lancastrian English King Henry IV.

For years in France, there were prophecies of a maiden in armour that would save the country, and Joan fulfilled that prophecy when she travelled to Orleans with the army in full battle armour. Even though she had never had anything to do with war or taken part in any military battle, she proved herself to be quite the strategist. When Joan arrived, the siege of Orleans had already been going on for five months, and the French had been unsuccessful in lifting it. Joan was seen as a heroine and she embraced it.

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has recently completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2021, October 19). Joan of Arc: Martyr and a Patron Saint of France. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Joan of Arc: Martyr and a Patron Saint of France." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 19, 2021.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Joan of Arc: Martyr and a Patron Saint of France." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 19 Oct 2021. Web. 30 Nov 2021.