May 2020

This Day in History: Joan of Arc Is Burned at the Stake for Heresy

May 30, 1431. The gruesome execution was carried out at Rouen in Normandy. She was not yet 20 years old. In three short years, Joan of Arc had gone from being an unknown peasant girl to the "Savior of France." At the age of 16, she began hearing voices directing her to assist the heir to the French throne to reclaim his crown from English rule. Dressed in male armor, she was granted audience to the Dauphin. After weeks of theological questioning, Joan of Arc was supplied with a small army to fight the English. After months of stunning victories, Joan was captured by the English, tried as a heretic for surpassing church authority and sentenced to death. Nearly 400 years later, the Catholic Church recognized Joan of Arc as a Christian saint in 1920.