St. Joan was a French peasant girl who gained entry to the French court and announced that she had been sent by Saints Michael, Catherine, and Margaret to lead the French against their English invaders. She was allowed to lead armies into battle, had remarkable success, but was ultimately betrayed to the enemy, who tried her as a witch and burned her at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was canonized in 1920.
In portraits the young St. Joan is usually dressed as a soldier in armor and wears her hair short, as at right.
Prepared in 2014 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University