May 30: Feast Day of Joan of Arc

Joan_of_arc_between 1450 and 1500On May 30, 1431, around the age of 19, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, and people have been fascinated ever since. Actually, people were fascinated with the Maid of Orleans a few years before that, but that’s the most famous part.

Joan of Arc was a peasant girl in the Middle Ages, who became very powerful during the Hundred Years War, when she claimed to have visions from God leading her to support the French king Charles VII. She lifted the siege of Orleans in nine days and rallied the French troops through a series of victories, until Charles VII was finally crowned at Reims.

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII. Oil on canvas, painted in 1854Less than a year later, she was captured. The English put her on trial for heresy, convicted her, and executed her.

Then, some 20+ years after her death, the war ended and Joan of Arc was placed on trial again, posthumously. Her conviction was overturned, and she was named a martyr.

Today she is the subject of numerous books and movies, as well as the patron saint of France.

“Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.”

Psalm 24:7-8

P. S. If Joan of Arc is too serious for you, check out last years post on May 30: My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It Day!

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