October 28, 2021
Joan of Arc, known as "the Maid", born around 1412 in Domrémy, village of the Duchy of Bar (currently in the Vosges department in Lorraine), and died at the stake on May 30, 1431 in Rouen, capital of the Duchy of Normandy then English possession, is a heroine of the history of France, warlord and saint of the Catholic Church, nicknamed posthumously "the Maid of Orleans". At the beginning of the 15th century, this young girl of peasant origin affirms that she received from Saints Michael, Marguerite of Antioch and Catherine of Alexandria the mission to deliver France from the English occupation. She manages to meet Charles VII, to lead the French troops victoriously against the English armies, to lift the siege of Orleans and to lead the king to the coronation, in Reims, thus helping to reverse the course of the Hundred Years War. Captured by the Burgundians in Compiègne in 1430, it was sold to the English by Jean de Luxembourg, Count de Ligny, for the sum of ten thousand pounds. She was condemned to be burned alive in 1431 after a heresy trial led by Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais and former rector of the University of Paris. Tainted with numerous irregularities, this trial saw its revision ordered by Pope Calixte III in 1455. A second trial was investigated which concluded, in 1456, in Joan's innocence and fully rehabilitated her. Thanks to these two trials, the minutes of which have been preserved, she is one of the best known figures of the Middle Ages. Beatified in 1909 and then canonized in 1920, Joan of Arc became one of the two secondary patron saint of France in 1922 by the apostolic letter Beata Maria Virgo in cælum Assumpta in gallicæ. His national holiday was instituted by law in 1920 and set for the second Sunday in May. She is in many countries a mythical personality who has inspired a multitude of literary, historical, musical, dramatic and cinematographic works.