New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Joan of Arc

detail of the World War I War Stamps lithograph featuring Joan of Arc; by Haskell Coffin, 1918; restored by the Library of Congress; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • La Pucelle
  • The Maid


Virgin, French national heroine, born Domremy, France, 1412; died Rouen, France, 1431. At about 13 years of age she began to hear the voice of her saints, Michael, Margaret, and Catherine, urging her to free her country from the English. In view of her unimpeachable character and the events of her life, there is no doubt of these supernatural manifestations. She hesitated for more than three years before obeying; then, in spite of violent opposition, she repaired to Chinon where Charles VII was holding court. After overcoming more opposition from churchmen and courtiers, she was given a small army with which she raised the siege of Orleans, 8 May 1429. Then followed the famous campaign of the Loire during which the English were decisively beaten, and Charles was crowned at Rheims, 17 July 1429. This seemed to end the supernatural part of her mission. More than ever she had to face the apathy of the king and the opposition of his advisers. She failed before Paris and was severely wounded. While defending Compiegne, she was taken prisoner and sold to the English. She was judged at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, a tool of the English. Although she astounded her judges by the readiness of her answers, she was condemned to death as a heretic, and burned at the stake, 30 May. In 1455 her family and the King of France petitioned the pope for a revision of her case. It was granted, and a special commission appointed by Callistus III rehabilitated her. French radicalism in its worst form has never succeeded in eradicating devotion to her from the heart of the people. She receives official honors every year. Patroness of France. Canonized, 1920. Feast, 30 May.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Joan of Arc”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 August 2018. Web. 2 March 2021. <>