30 May - Joan of Arc, born around 1412 in Domrémy, a village in the Duchy of Bar, and died at the stake on 30 May 1431 in Rouen. Daughter of Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Rommée, Joan belongs to a family of five children.

At the beginning of the 15th century, this seventeen-year-old girl of peasant origin claims that she received a mission from Saints Michel, Marguerite of Antioch and Catherine of Alexandria to deliver France from the English occupation. When news of the siege of Orleans reached Joan of Arc in December 1428 or January 1429, the "voices" became more insistent. She then asked her father for permission to go to Burey, a village near Domrémy, on the pretext of helping to relieve a first cousin also named Joan. Joan of Arc manages to convince Durand Laxart, her cousin's husband, to take her - without parental permission - to meet Robert de Baudricourt, captain of Vaucouleurs, a fortress near Domrémy. Asking to enlist in the Dauphin's troops to comply with a local prophecy that evoked a virgin from the steps of Lorraine, the saviour of France, she asked Robert de Baudricourt for an audience in order to obtain from him the letter of credit that would open the doors of the Court. The local lord took her for an affabulatrice or an enlightened woman and advised Laxart to take her cousin back to her parents' home after giving her a good slap.

Jeanne returned to Vaucouleurs in 1429 to settle for three weeks. She stayed with Henri and Catherine Le Royer, a bourgeois family, and the population - eager in these troubled times for encouraging prophecies - adopted and supported her. She was eventually taken seriously by Baudricourt, who gave her an escort of six men.

Before leaving for Chinon, Joan of Arc dressed in men's clothes and had her hair cut. The small group of travellers crossed the Burgundian lands without any problems and arrived in Chinon where Joan of Arc was finally allowed to see Charles VII, after receiving a letter from Baudricourt.

Legend has it that she was able to recognize Charles, simply dressed in the midst of his courtiers. In reality, she arrived in Chinon on Wednesday, February 23, 1429 and was not received by Charles VII until two days later, not in the great hall of the fortress, but in his private apartments, during an interview in which she told him about her mission.

Considering that only the coronation in Rheims confers royal dignity, the Maid addresses Charles VII using the title of dolphin. The great reception in front of the Court at the origin of the legend will take place only one month later. Jeanne is housed in the Coudray tower. Jeanne clearly announces four events: the liberation of Orléans, the coronation of the king in Reims, the liberation of Paris and the liberation of the Duke of Orléans.

After having had her questioned by the ecclesiastical authorities in Poitiers, where doctors of theology carry out her examination of conscience and where matrons, supervised by the Dowager Duchess of Anjou, the king's mother-in-law, ascertain her virginity (a requirement for a "sent from God"? Verification that she is not a man?). In order not to give his enemies a hold on her, and after making an investigation in Domrémy, Charles agrees to send Jeanne to Orléans besieged by the british.

She is equipped with an armour and a white banner with the fleur-de-lys, and she inscribes Jesus Maria. Arriving in Orléans on 29 April, she brought supplies and met Jean d'Orléans, known as "le Bâtard d'Orléans", the future Count of Dunois. She is enthusiastically welcomed by the population, but the war captains are reserved. With her faith, confidence and enthusiasm, she managed to infuse the desperate French soldiers with new energy and to force the English to lift the siege of the city on the night of 7 to 8 May 1429. After securing the Loire Valley with Patay's victory over the English on 18 June 1429, Jeanne went to Loches and persuaded the Dauphin to go to Reims to be crowned King of France. On 17 July 1429, in the cathedral of Reims, in the presence of Joan of Arc, Charles VII was crowned by Archbishop Regnault of Chartres. The Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, as peer of the Kingdom, is absent; Joan sends him a letter on the very day of the coronation, asking for peace.

At the beginning of 1430, Jeanne is invited to stay in the castle of La Trémoille in Sully-sur-Loire. She left the king at the beginning of May, without taking leave, at the head of a company of volunteers, and went to Compiègne, besieged by the Burgundians. Finally, she was captured by the Burgundians during an outing at the gates of Compiègne on 23 May 1430, and tried to escape twice, but failed. She was even seriously injured when she jumped out of a window at the Château de Beaurevoir. She was sold to the English on November 21, 1430, for ten thousand pounds, paid by the people of Rouen, and entrusted to Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais and ally of the English. The English took it to Rouen, where their headquarters were located.

During her trial in the castle of Rouen, which lasted from 21 February to 23 May 1431, Joan of Arc was accused of heresy. She was imprisoned in a tower of Philippe Auguste's castle in Rouen. Tried by the Church, Joan of Arc nevertheless remained imprisoned in this civil prison, in defiance of canon law.

The court declares Joan of Arc "relapse" (falling back into her past errors), condemns her to the stake and delivers her to the "secular arm". On May 30, 1431, after confessing and receiving Communion, Joan of Arc was taken to the Place du Vieux-Marché in Rouen, under English escort, at about nine o'clock in the morning, wearing a sulphur cloth tunic.

Joan of Arc was beatified by a brief dated April 11, 1909, followed by a ceremony held on April 18, 1909. She was then canonized on 16 May 1920.

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