Joan of Arc, nicknamed The Maid of Orléans, is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years War and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Joan of Arc was born to Jacques dArc and Isabelle Romée, the uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VIIs coronation at Reims and this long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory. On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction and she was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, in 1456, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. In the 16th century she became a symbol of the Catholic League and she was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. Cultural depictions of her have continued in films, theater, television, video games, music, the Hundred Years War had begun in 1337 as an inheritance dispute over the French throne, interspersed with occasional periods of relative peace. Nearly all the fighting had taken place in France, and the English armys use of chevauchée tactics had devastated the economy, the French population had not recovered to its size previous to the Black Death of the mid-14th century, and its merchants were isolated from foreign markets. Prior to the appearance of Joan of Arc, the English had nearly achieved their goal of a monarchy under English control. In the words of DeVries, The kingdom of France was not even a shadow of its thirteenth-century prototype, the French king at the time of Joans birth, Charles VI, suffered from bouts of insanity and was often unable to rule. The kings brother Louis, Duke of Orléans, and the kings cousin John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, quarreled over the regency of France and the guardianship of the royal children. This dispute included accusations that Louis was having an affair with the queen, Isabeau of Bavaria. The conflict climaxed with the assassination of the Duke of Orléans in 1407 on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy, the young Charles of Orléans succeeded his father as duke and was placed in the custody of his father-in-law, the Count of Armagnac. Their faction became known as the Armagnac faction, and the party led by the Duke of Burgundy was called the Burgundian faction. In 1418 Paris was taken by the Burgundians, who massacred the Count of Armagnac, the future French king, Charles VII, assumed the title of Dauphin—the heir to the throne—at the age of fourteen, after all four of his older brothers had died in succession. His first significant official act was to conclude a treaty with the Duke of Burgundy in 1419. This ended in disaster when Armagnac partisans assassinated John the Fearless during a meeting under Charless guarantee of protection, the new duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, blamed Charles for the murder and entered into an alliance with the English
Image: Joan of Arc miniature graded
Joan's birthplace in Domrémy is now a museum. The village church where she attended Mass is on the right behind the trees.
15th-century depiction of the Siege of Orléans, 1429