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Joan of Arc in French Jeanne dArc also called the Maid of Orleans a patron saint of France and a national heroine led the resistance to the English invasion of France in the Hundred Years War She was born the third of five children to a farmer Jacques dArc and his wife Isabelle de Vouthon in the town of Domremy on the border of provinces of Champagne and Lorraine Her childhood was spent attending her fathers herds in the fields and learning religion and housekeeping skills from her mother Both parents were intensely pious When Joan was about 12 years old she began to hear voices of St Michael St Catherine and St Margaret believing them to have been sent by God These voices told her that it was her divine mission to free her country from the English and help the dauphin gain the French throne They told her to cut her hair dress in mans uniform and to pick up the arms By 1429 the English with the help of their Burgundian allies occupied Paris and all of France north of the Loire The resistance was minimal due to lack of leadership and a sense of hopelessness Henry VI of England was claiming the French throne Joan convinced the captain of the dauphins forces and then the dauphin himself of her calling After passing an examination by a board of theologians she was given troops to command and the rank of captain In those days it was not unusual for women to fight side by side with the men There were thirty women wounded in the battle of Amiens A number of women soldiers fought among the followers of Johannes Huss in Bohemia There was hardly a medieval siege in which some woman was not conspicuous for heroism It was therefore quite natural for Charles to accept the military services of Joan of Arc2 At the battle of
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