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Archive for May 16th, 2009

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

This song by OMD is one of my favourite songs. Coincidentally, it was also today Joan of Arc’s info which I’ve found on “this day in history”. Enjoy this song on this Saturday night!

Joan's birthplace is now a museum
Joan’s birthplace is now a museum

Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d’Arc in French,(c. 1412 – May 30, 1431)was a 15th century national heroine of France. She was tried and executed for heresy when she was only 19 years old. The judgment was broken by the Pope and she was declared innocent and a martyr 24 years later. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized as a saint in 1920.

Joan of Arc was born to Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle Romée in Domrémy, a village which was then in the duchy of Bar (and later annexed to the province of Lorraine and renamed Domrémy-la-Pucelle). Her parents owned about 50 acres (0.2 square kilometers) of land and her father supplemented his farming work with a minor position as a village official, collecting taxes and heading the local watch. They lived in an isolated patch of northeastern territory that remained loyal to the French crown despite being surrounded by Burgundian lands. Several local raids occurred during her childhood and on one occasion her village was burned.

Joan said she was about 19 at her trial, so she was born about 1412; she later testified that she experienced her first vision around 1424 at the age of 7 years, or other sources say at the later age of 12 when she was out alone in a field when the voices appeared. She had said she cried when they left as they were so beautiful. She would report that St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret told her to drive out the English and bring the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation.

At the age of 16 she asked a kinsman, Durand Lassois, to bring her to nearby Vaucouleurs where she petitioned the garrison commander, Count Robert de Baudricourt, for permission to visit the royal French court at Chinon. Baudricourt’s sarcastic response did not deter her.She returned the following January and gained support from two men of standing: Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy. Under their auspices she gained a second interview where she made a remarkable prediction about a military reversal near Orléans.

She has remained an important figure in Western culture and many other nations. From Napoleon to the present, French politicians of all leanings have invoked her memory. Major writers and composers who have created works about her include Shakespeare, Voltaire, Schiller, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Twain, Shaw, Brecht, Anderson, Honegger, Cohen and Anouilh. Depictions of her continue in film, television, song, and even video games.

Read more about Joan here.

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