Contact Us



Famous Women

Joan of Arc
Mary Anning
Susan B. Anthony
Clara Barton

Hillary Clinton
Marie Curie
Princess Diana
Emily Dickinson
Amelia Earhart
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth II
Jane Fonda
Betty Ford
Indira Gandhi
Jane Goodall
Catherine the Great
Helen Keller
Mary Magdalene
Catherine de Medici
Golda Meir
Marilyn Monroe
Grandma Moses
Queen Nefertiti
Florence Nightengale
Sandra Day O'Connor
Georgia O'Keeffe
Rosa Parks
Eleanor Roosevelt
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Wilma Rudolph
Mary Queen of Scots
Gloria Steinem
Martha Stewart
Elizabeth Taylor
Mother Teresa
Margaret Thatcher
Harriet Tubman
Queen Victoria
Oprah Winfrey
Babe Didrikson Zaharias



St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France, and she lived from 1412-1431. She was born to devoted Catholic parents who were peasants in the village of Domremy, in the province of Lorraine. When she was thirteen years old, she began to hear visions from St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc

In her own words, St. Joan of Arc described the vision she received to assist the king of France in reclaiming territories that were conquered by the English as a result of ongoing feud between the two nations also known as the Hundred Years War; "As I guarded the animals a Voice appeared to me. The Voice said to me, 'God has great pity for the people of France. It is required that thou, Joan, betake thee to France.' Having heard these words, I wept. Then the Voice said to me, 'Go to Vaucouleurs. Thou wilt find there a captain who will conduct thee safely to France, and to the King, be without fear.' I have done what was commanded of me. And I reached the King without prevention of any sort."

To better understand the political landscape which led to the rise of St. Joan of Arc's military conquests for the re-conquest of various French territories from England, you'll need to understand the Hundred Years' War, which was an ongoing political and military battle between the two nations that lasted from 1337 to 1453. It started in 1328 when Charles V of France died without a male heir to the French throne.

Edward III of England believed he had a right to this throne because of his French mother. And since the French didn't want an English king to rule over them, they made Charles V king of France. During this time a series of peace periods and times of battle occurred then after 1415, Henry V invaded France and then the queen of France Isabeau married one of her daughters to Henry V. The result of this was the Treaty of Troyes which made Henry V the new king of France. But Henry V died a short time later and Charles VII assumed the role of the Dauphin of France but wasn't crowned king until after St. Joan of Arc led military battles to expel the English from various regions of France.

When Joan of Arc received her revelation from the saints to advise and help Charles VII regain the English-occupied territories in France, she didn't tell her parents because she knew that they wouldn't approve of her visit to him. This is a reflection of the roles women played in European society during the medieval period.

Women were expected to be totally subservient to male authority figures and they were expected to maintain the household and raise their children. In addition, the Catholic Church also sanctioned these opinions on women and those who society felt were too independent, outspoken or strong-willed, they were considered witches or heretics by the Church.

These views would come into play during St. Joan of Arc's trial and execution. And this is also what makes her story the opposite of what gender roles were traditionally like during the medieval period in Europe. St. Joan of Arc's uncle also stepped outside of his traditional gender role in a sense because when she told him her vision to help Charles VII regain territories, he brought her to the town of Vaucouleurs.

And when she told this vision to Charles VII, he made fun of her but eventually allowed her to participate in the military battles against England. Whenever St. Joan of Arc advised Charles VII, his council and military leaders, most of the time they listened to her instructions because she always had strong and convincing arguments to back her advice.

She was even bold enough to write a letter to the King of England and demand that they withdraw the English troops from occupied regions of France or she and her troops would take action. And in this letter she described herself as a military commander, which was highly unusual for medieval women during this era. And in another incident during the Siege of Orleans, the English had two forts in nearby Beauce called the Saint Loup and London. After St. Joan of Arc and her troops attacked Saint Loup, the troops thought about attacking the London fort but they sought her advice before they decided to do so.

In 1431 while fighting English enemies in Compiegne, St. Joan of Arc was captured by English military leaders and then imprisoned by the King of England, where she stood trial for heresy and dressing as a man in order to defeat the English with her military battles. She was burned at the stake. But 30 years later, she was exonerated of those crimes. St. Joan of Arc was canonized in 1920 making her one of the most famous women in the past 1,000 years.

There is a secret you don't know …

Besides the factual Joan of Arc biography presented above there is a tiny historical secret that hardly a soul knows about. And this secret is that during her downtime St. Joan of Arc used to like to go into town with her fellow troops and play basketball using an extra-large beehive.


Copyright © 2015 FemStory.com, all rights reserved. No content may be used without written permission.