Who is Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc shaped France by making faith a prime focus during the Hundred Years War. Born in 1412, she grew up in a small town called Domremy, located near the outer borders of the French province of Lorraine. Around the age of thirteen, Joan began to hear and see visions of angels telling her to break the siege of Orléans and drive the English out of France.
In addition, a prophecy around this time claimed that a maiden dressed in armor from the province of Lorraine would lead the French to victory. This inspired her to go to Charles VII and convince him to allow her to fight. She delivered hope and faith, and it seemed to Charles as if Joan “…had been sent by God not simply to instruct the king, but to help him in the recovery of his kingdom” (Castor 91).
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As a result of their encounter, Charles and his counsellors believed God was showing mercy and bringing restoration to France through her. Before allowing Joan to fight, Charles needed to test her integrity, wholeness, and virginity. “When the learned doctors presented their conclusions…’The king’, they said, …’should not prevent her from going to Orléans with his soldiers, but should have her escorted there honorably, placing his faith in God.’ ” (Castor 97).
As Joan set out to battle, she not only encouraged her fellow soldiers, but also drew them closer to God. She set high standards, which restricted them of swearing, gambling, drinking, and fornicating. These were all considered sinful actions and reasons to be punished by God. During their stay at Blois, Joan gathered priests, and “…ordered the soldiers to confess and put themselves in a state of grace with God.” (Taylor 56).
Joan motivated her soldiers through faith by providing worship twice daily and required her soldiers to confess before attending worship. This focus on self-control invariably led to greater discipline on the battlefield, which helped increase the effectiveness of the French army.