30th May
It was on this day...
1431 Joan Of Arc Is Burned At The Stake

At this time in history, Normandy was controlled by the English. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake at Place du Vieux-Marchý, in Rouen, on this day. She was charged with heresy. She was 19.

Back story: The 100 Years War between England and France was underway. England controlled most of the North of France, including Paris.

Joan lived in a village of Domrýmy which lay on French side of the border. She claimed to have heard the "voices" of Christian Saints: St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret.

She claimed that the "voices" told her to recapture Reims, the traditional place of French coronations, which was in enemy hands. Charles, the heir apparant to the French crown (aka 'Dauphin'), couldn't be crowned until Reims came under his control.

Joan traveled to Vaucouleurs, a stronghold of the Dauphin, in January 1429. The captain of the garrison there agreed to allow her passage to Charles, who was at Chinon.

Charles met with her. Some of his courtiers interrogated her. They decided to make use of this welcome sign from the Gods.

Joan was given a small army to command. After a number of stunning victories against the English, on July 16 1429 she had managed to regain Reims for the French, which enabled the crowning of Charles VII. Joan stood nearby during his coronation holding up a standard of Christ in judgment.

September 8, 1429 Joan's troops attacked Paris.

May 1430 she was caught by the Burgundians who sold her to the English. She was charged with heresy by rejecting the authority of the Church in favor of the "voices" in her head.

She was convicted and then recanted her crimes, so was given life imprisonment. She was ordered to wear women's clothing, however, when she was found wearing male clothing, and then claiming that the reason she wore them was because St. Catherine and St. Margaret had told her to wear it, she was charged as a relapsed heretic and turned over to the secular officials who burned her at the stake.

In 1920, Joan of Arc, was canonized as a Christian saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Her feast day is May 30.

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