Essay Calling and Charisma: The Life of Joan of Arc

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Calling and Charisma: The Life and Mission of Joan of Arc Joan of Arc overcame incredible challenges in the name of God and her country. Her military prowess both frustrated the English and endeared her to the French people. Although the accomplishments of Joan are well documented, the truth behind her success and her motivations for leaving home remain a mystery to this day. Joan claimed that she was called by God to free her country, but some doubted the truth of her statement. It is difficult to determine Joan’s true motivations for becoming a soldier, but regardless of her motives, she was an important factor in France’s fight for freedom and the story of her life and death made her one of the most interesting warriors in medieval…show more content…
In the midst of the chaos, Joan supposedly heard the voice of God call to her in 1425; she said that he instructed her both to “be a good girl and go to church often” and to go to France (21, 24). By 1428, the voice had begun to call more frequently and, perhaps, more urgently. The messages were also becoming more specific, telling her to visit the heir to the French throne and to help the French fight at Orléans (30). Thus, in 1428, she left her village behind to try and make contacts that would help her gain an audience with the heir (31), or the “Dauphin” as he was officially called (Kiefer). Joan finally found herself in the presence of Charles the Dauphin in February of 1429 (Taylor 39). However, much to her chagrin, she did not immediately receive Charles’ permission to leave for battle. Instead, he first sent her to the city of Poitiers to undergo thorough physical and religious testing before he finally consented (43, 46-47). Shortly before she left for Orléans, Joan sent a letter addressed to the English king and several nobles (53). Joan’s headstrong character and confidence in her divine calling both radiate from her firm message to the English: “King of England, render account to the King of Heaven of your royal blood. Return the keys of all the good cities which you have seized, to the Maid…She comes sent by the King of Heaven, body for body, to take you out of France…HEAR THE WORDS OF GOD AND THE MAID”

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