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Today in History: May 30th, 1431

Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images

Joan of Arc is Executed and Burned at the Stake at 19

On this day in 1431, Joan of Arc, a pivotal figure in the Hundred Years’ War and a national heroine of France, was executed by being burned at the stake in Rouen, Normandy. At just 19 years old, her martyrdom marked a significant and tragic event in both French history and the larger context of medieval Europe.

Joan, a peasant girl from Domrémy, claimed to have received divine visions instructing her to support Charles VII and help expel the English from France. Her remarkable journey saw her lift the Siege of Orléans in 1429 and play a crucial role in the coronation of Charles VII at Reims, cementing her place as a key leader in the French resistance during the Hundred Years’ War.

Illustration of Joan of Arc being burned at the stake.
Joan of Arc, tried for heresy and sorcery and burnt at stake in the marketplace at Rouen on May 30, 1431. (Photo Credit: Universal History Archive / Getty Images)

Captured by Burgundian forces allied with the English on May 23, 1430, Joan was sold to the English and put on trial for heresy, witchcraft, and cross-dressing. The trial, conducted in Rouen, was heavily biased and marred by numerous irregularities, including the lack of proper legal representation for Joan. Despite her vigorous defense, she was found guilty and sentenced to death.

On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc faced her execution with remarkable composure. Dressed in a white robe and holding a crucifix, she was burned at the stake in the marketplace of Rouen. Her death was intended to discredit her and weaken French morale, but instead, it solidified her status as a martyr and a symbol of French nationalism.

More from us: The Joan of Arc Impostor who Fooled Everyone – Even the King

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Joan’s legacy endured long after her death. In 1456, a posthumous retrial authorized by Pope Callixtus III declared her innocent and recognized her trial as unjust. Nearly five centuries later, in 1920, she was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Today, Joan of Arc is remembered not only as a national and religious icon but also as a symbol of courage and conviction in the face of oppression.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News