Many people have heard the name Joan of Arc, but have never known what she did and what happened to her. Joan of Arc was bold, fearless and powerful. During her short lifetime Joan helped many people and got a death sentence in return. I'm going to tell her story in my report.

Joan of Arc was born in Doremy, in the Duchy of Loraine, which we now know as France. She was born a peasant and was taught things like sewing, hoeing, and shepherding. In 1428 she went to live in a Castle in Vancouleurs. While she was young she enjoyed singing and dancing. Joan was very pious and she went to mass and confession quite often. When she was 13 years old Joan started hearing voices and seeing visions in her head. She claimed that they were angels telling her to remove the English from France and give the crown back to the rightful king. She lived the rest of her life listening to them and trying to obey them. Joan told her uncle what the angels were saying and her uncle was told to take her back home until she grew up. In 1429 she moved back to Vancouleurs were she persuaded the people to follow her. The people also helped her find transportation and safety to get her to where she was going.

While in France Joan used the voices in her head to help the Dauphin, Charles VII. She told the Dauphin how she was capable of saving France and she was given a large French army to lead. The army she was given won many wars against the English and helped the French in the Hundred Years' War. This gave her a place of honor next to the king in the Cathedral. Charles was against any further battles against the English. In 1430 Joan fought the English again at Compiegne, but this time she didn't have Royal permission. Joan was forced to surrender to the Burgundian soldiers who caught her and put her in prison where she was badly treated. She tried to escape two times. The second time Joan tried escaping by jumping from a high tower, which caused many injuries. Joan was later bought back by some English allies.

During her trial in Rouen, Joan was accused of wearing men's clothes and doing the work of the devil. The trial was 14 months long. During the trial she quit dressing like a man and went back to dressing like a normal woman. As soon as she was put back in an English prison she started wearing men's clothes again. She was then sentenced to life in prison. On May 30, 1431, Joan was burned at the stake in Rouen. She insisted that she

put the cross, made of sticks, inside the front of her dress so she could watch it as she burned. During the burning people have said she shouted "Jesus" loudly several times.

Twenty-five years after her death the church gave her another trial, a much more fair trial. At the end of the trial Joan was pronounced innocent. Four hundred years later, in 1920, she became canonized by Pope Benedict. Joan is now well known in art and literature. May 30 is now the traditional feast day in memory of, Joan of Arc.

Sources: Encarta Encyclopedia, and The Who's Who book