St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc was born on January 6 1412 in France. In her childhood she was said to have heard the voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret. At 13 years old each of them told her to drive the English from French territory.
When Joan turned 16 has asked permission from a relative to visit the French Royal Court. Despite being laughed at, she returned the following January with two soldiers. She predicted a military reversal at the Battle of Rouvray near Orleans, which were confirmed several days later. When it was discovered that Joan could not have known that information it was believed to be Divine revelation and she gained the trust of the commander. For her own safety, she was escorted through hostile territory dressed as male soldier (which later led to charges of her cross dressing.)
Joan arrived to Orleans and quickly turned the conflict into a religious war. In April 1429 upon concern that her claims of “doing Gods work” and how that could easily be twisted by their enemies, she was declared “a good Christian, possessed by the virtues of humility, honesty, and simplicity.”
On May 4, English troops approached the army to stop their advances but a cavalry charge turned them away without a fight. Joan was shot with an arrow between her neck and shoulder as she held her banner , but returned to take the fortress. The next day the English retreated and the siege was over.
Joan was captured and held for ransom, there were several attempts to free her and she even made escape attempts, including jumping from her 70 ft tower. Eventually she was sold to the English for 10,000 gold coins and was tried as a heretic and a witch. She was thrown in prison where she wore military clothing she could tie together to avoid being raped.
Despite a lack of incriminating evidence, Joan was sentenced to death in 1431.
Accounts of Joans death by burning on May 30 described how she was tied to a pillar and burned three times to reduce her to ash and her remains thrown into the river. The executioner later said he “greatly feared to be damned."
Joan is the patron of soldier and France