Joan of Arc was born in 1412, in the little village of Domremy in France. Her father had often told her of the sad condition of France, how the country was largely in the possession of England, and how the French king did not dareto be crowned. This made Joan very sad, and she brooded over the matter so much that she began to have visions of angels, and heard strange voices, which said to her, Â«Joan, you can deliver the land from the English. Go to the reiief of King Charles of FranceÂ». Joan believed that she had a mission from God, and she was determined to try to save France. Though everyone tried to dissuade her, she did not change her mind. She went to the king, and asked him to allow her to lead his soldiers to victory against the English. The king agreed, and when she was just 18 years old, Joan led an army of about 5000 men against the English, who had surrounded the city of Orleans. Mounted on a fine war-horse, and clad in white armour from head to foot, she rode along past the cheering multitude. In one hand she carried an ancient sword, and in the other, a white banner embroidered with lilies.
Joan was able to enter Orleans, and she led her men to victory after victory against the English. Her fame spread everywhere, and the English as well as the French thought she had more than human power. At last, the English were driven far to the north of France. Then Charles, urged by Joan, went to Rheims, with twelve thousand soldiers, and there, in Joanâ€™s presence, was crowned king. Sadly, Joan was later betrayed and accused of being a tool of the devil. She was tried, and was burned at the stake. Later, she was declared to be a saint by the Catholic Church, and to this day, she is considered to be the national heroine of France.