Joan of Arc: The Soldier to Remember


Francez Santos, Journalist/Editor

Long ago, someone said that “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”

Who may that person be, you ask? Well, that person is Joan of Arc. Her accomplishments throughout her life are nothing short of phenomenal. Her story inspires and motivates many to do what is right, no matter what people say. 

It all started when Joan was born to farmers in poverty in the rural French village of Domrémy. Her father educated her on how to maintain the animals. Her mother instructed her how to appreciate and love the Catholic Church. 

Once she reached the age of 13, she received what she believed were vibrant and vivid visions from God. She listened attentively to all those messages she collected. 

Soon enough, they became precise. In the vision, St. Michael and St. Catherine informed Joan that she would be the heroine who saved France from the long war between England and France. 

That particular war, known as the Hundred Years’ War, had France against a wall. England was winning overall, invaded the majority of France, including Joan’s village, and claimed supremacy over the country. 

By the time it was 1428, Joan had ventured out to find the army commander, Robert de Baudricourt, in Vaucouleurs and persuade him to assist with her plan. He agreed with her offer afterward. 

Although this sounds normal nowadays, Joan had cut off her hair and dressed as a man back then to defend what she was required to do. Once she arrived to see Charles VII, Joan assured him of her intentions and Charles provided her with a suit of armor and a white horse. Her journey off to battle commenced there. 

Throughout the war, she displayed faith indescribable in words alone. Each time, she directed the French soldiers to constant victory. And with her bravery and cleverness, the French forced the English to hurry back to their land. That itself allowed Charles to be crowned King Charles VII of France. 

At the very end, Charles and his scarred personality did not conclude so reasonably. Joan had been seized, exchanged to the English, handed over to the church and accused of witchcraft, opposing the church, and dressing like a man. 

The trials only lasted one year. The girl regularly infuriated the questioners with her words, so they started to interview her privately. Joan was resolved entirely in her belief in God and what He had for the teenager. 

Not able to demonstrate anything except that Joan dressed up as the opposite gender, the tribunal and the court of justice sentenced the girl to burn at only 19 years old. But from the ashes, like a phoenix, hope rose for women in the world.

Though the story of Joan did not end so delightfully, the world still knows of her actions today. The teenager gave France the hope and strength needed to return its home to its rightful hands. She did so much that she even became the patron saint of France. That is one title she deserves.  France is undoubtedly in debt.


Information Sources:

Teen Trailblazers by Jennifer Calvert and illustrated by Vesna Asanovic

Picture Sources: