Is the Story of Joan of Arc True?

Many of the stories that have come down to us from the Middle Ages are merely legends. Some of these tales are based loosely on facts. For instance, there really was an English hero named Arthur, but most of the stories that grew up about him as king were legend.

But the story of Joan of Arc is true. She was born in France in 1412, at a time when England had conquered much of France. At the age of 13, she claimed that she heard voices from heaven telling her she was to lead the French against the English invaders, and to have Charles VII crowned king of all France. She convinced Charles to place her at the head of a French army, where she defeated the English and their allies at the Battle of Orleans.

Charles was crowned, but Joan was captured by her enemies and accused of treason against the church. She was found guilty and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of only 19!

About 25 years later, another court declared that Joan had been innocent. She was made a saint of the Catholic Church in 1920.