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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc as she is

Joan of Arc (FrenchJeanne d'Arc,[4] IPA: [ʒan daʁk]; ca. 1412[5] – May 30th, 1431), nicknamed The Maid of Orléans (French La Pucelle d'Orléans), is a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to a peasant family in east-central France. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France. She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon for charges of "insubordination and heterodoxy", and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old.

Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus IIIexamined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc wasbeatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is one of the patron saints of France, along with St. DenisSt. Martin of ToursSt. Louis, IX, and St. Theresa of Lisieux. Joan said she had received visions from God instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France fromEnglish domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and caused the lifting of the siege in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims.

Joan of Arc has been a popular figure to depict since the time of her death and many famous writers, filmmakers and composers who have created works about her. Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc have continued in film, theatre, television, video games, music, and performances to this day.

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