Commentary and Philosophy Non-Fiction posted October 24, 2017

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Her life

Tragic ending

by JanPerry

Joan D'arc Contest Winner 

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

It was a time of heresy. The Middle Ages during 1400 to 1500 in France, where civil wars reigned supreme and no one was safe from the terrors of war, torture and slavery.

Joan was a simple country girl, strong, determined, obstinate. I met her in my dreams where she demanded retribution. She somehow became known to the reigning King Charles VII of France and offered her services as a warrior to drive the English out of France. In fact, she often heard God her Lord speak to her through three archangels. Of course the bishop would not hear of her ranting and demanded her execution.

These were barbaric times indeed, where the terrors of torture were submitted to thieves and common criminals. Heresy was punished by being burnt at the stake during these dark and miserable times. This common practice was rife to the point where over six hundred people in Spain alone were burnt at the stake.

In France, Joan of Arc insisted archangels directed her from God when she fought in her battles. Joan's leadership drives the English out of France. However, such was her interference in the laws of the land that she was put on trial for heresy. The pithy board of directors sentenced her to death by burning.

The board would have consisted of great Lords and Bishops from that era. They commanded anyone to be put to death who did not obey the Catholic Church in France and its followers to a fault. In fact, many people were wrongly accused and put to death, simply by rumour. Any rumour of sorcery or witchcraft would most certainly guarantee you a place on death row.

Joan of Arc was just one of many burned at the stake and she came to me in a dream begging me for help. I must do something! Sweat forms at my brow as I twist and turn in my sleep.

"Speak to Michael, your archangel. Stop your interference with the hierarchy and the King. Leave the city before it's too late, my Joan," I cry out, leaving no doubt to anyone nearby that I'm completely mad.

Joan repeats her mumblings to her Lord. She has been locked in a freezing cold dungeon. A small cage. The sobs of others fill the air. A great bitter sadness envelops my heart.

The morning light peeks its arrival through a tiny brick window from above. The day of execution has arrived. A priest reads Joan her last rites as she is being led to the stage of execution.

King Charles of France, the Archbishop, Warwick and the chaplain have all sentenced her to death.

But Joan believes she has been chosen by God to save France with her leadership in war. She believes she is the chosen one, because of the archangels who speak to her.

The crowds have already gathered outside, eagerly awaiting today's entertainment.

I can see the guards drag her over to the stake, bind her hands and ankles to the pole tightly. They offer her the customary blindfold but here she refuses. Nothing will intercept between her and her God. She squeezes the small cross she holds in her hand.

The men cover her in paraffin, drench sticks at her feet aside mountains of branches littered around her. They use torches to light the edges.

I can hear her piercing screams as flames lick at her waist. I see terror filled eyes red from smoke. Her hands clutch her cross as she prays in fervent mumblings. The devil of pain envelops her soul as thousands look on dispassionately.

What makes Joan so special? Why is she the chosen one, and why must she be put to death?

The hypocrisy of the Middle Ages, the laws of the land, the ecclesiastical beliefs of Lords and chaplains have all contributed to her untimely demise.

Joan's ultimate devotion to God, her bravery in battle, her gumption and pride in her dealings with the King, have all led her to a place of extreme torture and persecution.

It has delivered her to a place of heavenly fulfillment. A place without bias, judgement and pain.
Her ultimate sacrifice.

Joan D'arc
Contest Winner


She also dressed as a male all the time in order to be accepted.

I admire her bravery, her spirit and divine intervention during a time of extreme hardship. She truly was a leader who saved France from the English invasion. This makes her the bravest woman alive. She had the strongest religious conviction and was canonised at a later time.
(To canonise is to be given a Sainthood by the Pope).

Source: Bernard Shaw's play, Saint Joan.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Kathy Schipper Art at

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