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Fig 5.2 – Joan of Arc

Text: Page 157

During the Hundred Years War, Joan of Arc became an inspirational symbol of French resistance to England. Growing up in France, Joan believed that God chose her to lead France to victory against the English. Joan, a peasant girl, had no military training. led the French army against the English in the besieged city of Orleans. She believed she achieved an improbable victory because of divine intervention.

Later, after her capture, the English employed Inquisition punishment, a stark symbol of horrific inquisitional psychology. In 1431, 19-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for witchcraft, heresy, and dressing like a man. Her martyrdom became a universal symbol of injustice, dying for religious faith, and the diabolical claim of witchcraft as a pretext to perpetuate violence against women.

The Pope responded to her popularity and ordered an Inquisitional court to examine her English trial. The court declared her innocent of witchcraft and heresy. She was officially designated a martyr because she never, even under the threat of death, renounced her faith. She became a powerful Catholic symbol and was declared the patron saint of France.

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