Saturday, May 30, 2015

This Day in Christian History: May 30 Joan of Arc Burned

This Day in Christian History: May 30

May 30, 1431: Joan of Arc Burned at the Stake

Born into a peasant family in north-east France, Joan was spiritual from a very young age. Joan testified that she saw her first vision at about age 13. She said she saw the Archangel Michael, who told her to drive out the English and aid Charles VII. She began to fulfill this commision around age 16.

Being so young, it took some time to get the officials to take her seriously, but she succeeded and ended up joining the army on the battlefront. The extent of her involvement is debated, but the commanders believed that her advice was divinely inspired, and therefore would listen to her. Historians have to agree that the army experienced remarkable success during the brief time she accompanied it.

Joan was captured and put on trial by the Catholic church as a heretic. One of the many charges brought against her was that of 'cross dressing' because she had disguised herself as a male soldier at one point, and had donned men's clothing while in prison to deter molestation.

The court found her guilty and sentenced her to death. Around the age of nineteen, she was burned at the stake and her ashes thrown into the Seine river.

She was later made a saint, but that is a post for another day.

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