Joan of Arc is a national heroine of France and a saint of the Roman
Catholic Church. She had visions, believed to be from God, which led
to the liberation of her homeland from English dominance in the
Hundred Years' War. The then-uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to
the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained
prominence when she overcame the disregard of veteran commanders and
ended the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to
Charles VII's coronation at Rheims and settled the disputed succession
to the throne. The renewed French confidence outlasted Joan of Arc's
own brief career. She refused to leave the field when she was wounded
during an attempt to recapture Paris that fall. Hampered by court
intrigues, she led only minor companies from then on, and fell
prisoner during a skirmish near Compiègne the following spring. A
politically-motivated trial convicted her of heresy. The English
regent, John, Duke of Bedford, had her burnt at the stake in Rouen.
Pope Callixtus III reopened Joan's case; a new finding overturned the
original conviction. Her piety to the end impressed the retrial court.
Pope Benedict XV canonized her on 16 May 1920.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The Battle of Culloden, the final battle of the Jacobite Rising, was
fought in Culloden, Scotland.
Indian Railways launched its first passenger train service.
Vladimir Lenin returned to Petrograd from Switzerland, and joined the
Bolshevik movement in Russia.
Dr. Albert Hofmann discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD.
Texas City Disaster: Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate in Texas
City's port exploded.
Wikiquote of the day:
"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they
say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within
you." -- Yeshua (Jesus Christ)