Joan of Arc, "La Pucelle" (The Virgin), became the heroine of her day when she successfully led French armies against the English - and defeated them. John Duke of Bedford, Henry V's brother and regent in France, called her 'a disciple and limb of the Fiend' and suspected Charles VII of France to co-operate with a sorceress in men's clothes. She had seen visions of saints and of God telling her to fight against the English; so she became an able military leader, very unusual for a girl of her time.

Her wearing men's clothes made her easily suspicious to the Church, and so the English had no difficulties to finally accuse her as an heretic. She was burnt in May 1431, but her death was largely a political act. When a woman called her a saint later in the year, she was also burnt.

In 1456, however, Charles VII declared that Joan's trial had been an English attempt to defame him. So the Pope annulled it, but of course too late for her.

Joan of Arc
15th Century