On this day in 1431 in Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
Joan was born the daughter of Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle Romée in Domrémy, a village which was then in the French part of the duchy of Bar.
Joan’s parents owned about 50 acres of land and her father supplemented his farming work with a minor position as a village official, collecting taxes and heading the local watch.
They lived in an isolated patch of eastern France that remained loyal to the French crown despite being surrounded by pro-Burgundian lands.
Several local raids occurred during her childhood and on one occasion her village was burned.
At her trial, Joan stated that she was about 19, which implies that she thought she was born around 1412.
She later testified that she experienced her first vision around 1424 at the age of 12 years, when she was in her “father’s garden” and saw visions of figures she identified as Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, who told her to drive out the English and bring the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation. She said she cried when they left, as they were so beautiful.