The Death of Joan of Arc
May 30, 1431 would be a day that would forever live in infamy
in France. For it was on this day that the death of Joan of Arc
be conducted through burning Joan of Arc at the stake. Joan of
Arc's death would prove to be one of the greatest injustices in
the Middle Ages, and it was not until 25 years later that she
was found innocent of all heresy charges by the Pope himself.
Since heresy was a capital crime only when it was a repeat offense,
the court of the English for the trial of Joan of Arc stated that
Joan of Arc had heard voices a second time while in prison. On
top of that, she had stopped wearing men's clothing while in prison
until she was molested, after which she began to wear men's clothing
again, helping the charge of the English against her for heresy.
The death of Joan of Arc would be conducted, with Joan of Arc
at the stake, on May 30, 1431. She was tied to a tall pillar in
the Vieux-Marche in Rouen, where she asked two of the clergy present
to hold a crucifix before her. Feeling pity for her, a peasant
made a small cross that Joan of Arc put in the front of her dress.
When Joan of Arc burned at the stake, witnesses said she met it
with composure and bravery, causing many to feel that there was
a horrible injustice against this young woman.
After Joan of Arc died, the English raked the coals and ashes
to expose her charred body to show that she had not escaped alive.
They needed Joan of Arc's death to be proven beyond a doubt to
keep her from becoming Joan of Arc the Martyr.
Then, the English burned the body twice more to ashes to prevent
the collection of ashes from the death of Joan of Arc. After Joan
of Arc was burned at the stake two times, they took the ashes
and threw them into the Seine as a final injustice against this
woman who had attempted to free her people.
Heresy was the charge during the trial of Joan of Arc; many believed
she had actually spoken to God. Even the executioner, Geoffroy
Therage, later said that after Joan of Arc died, he greatly feared
being damned for his part to play in helping Joan of Arc be burned
at the stake.
Joan of Arc's trial and Joan of Arc's death at the stake would
forever be seen as examples of someone dying for something they
believe in and being remembered throughout history for it.
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