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Intellectual Biography: Joan of Arch

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Perhaps the most celebrated and respected heroine of France would be Joan of Arc. The “maid of Orleans” as she was later called, was the heroine of France during the struggling period in the 15th century on the time of King Charles VII. At this period France had been conquered by the English and King Charles VII deposed. Indeed to look at the intellectual biography of Joan of Arch, we should be able to define the circumstances and history that depicted the heroine acts of Joan of Arch.

On 1415 King Henry V of England defeated the French with the support of Burgundians and entered Paris. These led to the famous treaty of Troyes. In the treaty King Henry became the regent to the throne with the agreement to marry the daughter of Charles VI.  The treaty also depicted that King Henry VI was to inherit the Kingdom of France after the death of Charles VI hence disinheriting the son of Charles VI, Charles VII from the throne. The attack on France by the English was brought in largely from the differences between the Burgundians and the Armagnacs which started as earlier as 1371.  Thereby upon the signing of the Troyes treaty, King Henry V became the ruler of France.  But it was not long before King Henry V and Charles VI died. King Henry VI left an infant son King Henry VI.  The Duke of Bedford ruled France as regent for King Henry VI in Normandy and Ile-de part of France without being challenged, (Wheeler, 1999).  With King Charles VII and deposed to the Southern part and the English capture of Orleans, France lost ground. These are the period we see the rise of Joan of Arc.

Early Life

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Joan of Arch was born in around 1412 has the sources depict. He was born in Domremy, France. He was born during the rivalry between England and France. Joan was born to peasant family with devout catholic religious beliefs. Domremy was still in favor of Charles VII has the King since the taking of Paris and the disinheriting of Charles VII. During her early teenage years approximately around 13 years she started to have visions from God and St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

The visions

"One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying" Tejvan, 2007. This is the most memorable thoughts and quote of Joan of Arch. Maybe this was the motivation of the visions he had when she was 1 years old. These visions present the intellectual part of these biography has they are the foundations of Joan of Arch’s beliefs and actions in the future. When she was 13 years she had visions from St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret which her “ of the pitiful state of France, and told me that I must go to succor [assist] the King of France’, (Tejvan, line 5).

With this convictions and communication she became a strict catholic who had “a direct relationship with Christ and the blessed Mary,” (Tejvan, line 8). She went on to declare that God had directed her to lead an independent life, a life independent from the sanctions of he church. Her religious beliefs were so strong and her heart strong willed.  Most sources indicate that she would ran to church as soon as she hears the bell rings and she was a constant confessor who believed that in life one is  a sinner and should be able to confess whenever has a chance.

As indicated above, her visions led Joan of Arc to pursue a course that was so important to France. When she was 16 she requested a military officer stationed in Doremy to go and visit Charles VII and join the war. But her request was denied and she had to go back there a year later when her dreams were reached. Indeed all her convictions are based on her confessions during her trial after being captured by the Burgundians.

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Joan of Arc met the town’s Captain Sir Robert de Baudricort on 1429 and requested that she may be able top join the army and fight the English by joining King Charles VII on the court, but her request was refused. It is said that what made her request accepted is when she described a defeat by h4e French, a battle which was confirmed to be true. Hence Sir Robert had to send her to the King. She left with an escort of six individuals to Chihon and along the way she always wanted to attend mass. Upon reaching Chihon, King Charles decided to test her to see if she was saying the truth. Hence the King decided to dress a courier in place of him and stood among the audience. But Joan was able to identify the King from the audience and demanding the courier has not him. When she was asked how she knew it was the King she said, “Dauphin it’s you and no one else”, (Hobbins, 2005).

So later she asked a private audience with the King who was convinced of her thoughts and belief. But first she was taken to a church for an ecclesiastical clearance. The ecclesiastical clearancee sought to clear her thoughts on her deeds and intentions. In education she said, “I do not know A from B”, (Tejvan, line 4). Also there was a question about why she was using soldiers if she received guidance from the saints. Her answer was “In God’s Name! The soldiers would fight and God will give them victory”. About a divine sign she said “Let me go and free the Orleans, and there you would have your sign”, (Tejvan, line 14). She was cleared by the church which found her as being simple and honest.

There is another divine tale of how she directed for the finding of an unknown sword at a St. Catherine church. The sword which was buried at the church was found and dug up. It was the sword she used when going to Orleans. She was given a unit of the army and marched towards Orleans with the blessings of the King. There she was victorious and received an honor. She was injured a number of times but she recovered mysteriously. After completing her mission she came back to Chihon and wanted to be reunited by her family but that could not be possible as the King and other nobles held her against her will, (Twain, 2009).

She later led an attack with Charles on Paris, an at6tack which failed. From then her prestige was harmed hence sadly laying her hands down at St.Denis. After that King Charles raised her family name to nobility. She was later to be captured by the Burgundians, a captor she foretold, and then sold to the English who trialed her for heresy.


She was tried for heresy and many other counts in Paris. She was generally questioned of her male attire, her childhood activities, saint communications, beliefs and many other claims the English asked. She confessed later and later retracted her confession. She was convicted of sent charges but forth-seven were confirmed. She was later to be burned and as she was being burned she foretold a united France whereby the Burgundians had to unite with France. In 1945 the Burgundy allied with France in the treaty of Arras.


Several years later after the death of Joan, private ecclesiastical lawyers opened the Joan case and found her innocent of the crimes she was convicted with. She was cleared of all the charges and later was made a saint by the Catholic Church on May, 1990. Indeed in every way the visions, zeal and divine work of Joan of Arc redeemed France and led to a united France which everyone hoped for. 

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