Joan of Arc One of history's most improbable and inspiring stories began with heavenly voices and visions experienced by a young, illiterate French shepherdess - Joan of Arc. Repeatedly and ever more insistently, they told her to raise an army, liberate the city of OrlÈans, install a rightful French king, and drive the English from France.
She heeded these divine orders, and during a single year, 1429, led the French in a string of victories over the English. She was hailed as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
Two years later, she was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake.
For a saga involving the fate of nations and God's plan for the world, the future saint's simple, courageous life unfolds as surprisingly human. The people surrounding her are motivated by little more than power and politics, their actions based on vanity, pride, ambition, petty disputes, or just plain dithering. Her remarkable story is a testament to her faith.