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Who is joan of arc?

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Joan of Arc is one of three patron saints of France; she is also the patron saint of soldiers.

Joan (in French, Jeanne) of Arc (sometimes written Jehanne D'Arc) was born to a peasant family in the village of Domremy, on the border between Champaigne and Lorraine in 1431.

Her father had a dream of her travelling with an army, and thought her a camp follower, and told her brothers to drown her should it come to pass. Joan was a girl-soldier who "heard voices" which told her to preserve her viginity, to take up arms and crown the dauphin King of France. Joan became a soldier in 1428, indeed crowned the King of France in 1429, was captured by the English in 1430, handed over to French Clerics in 1431, put on trial and burnt at the stake as a heretic.

She was only 19. Her trial and conviction were later reviewed and she was absolved of heresy.

In 1903 it was formally proposed that she be made a saint. On May 16, 1920, she was canonised as a saint by Pope Benedict XV

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