Why is Saint Joan of Arc a Saint? What values and qualities does she have? What is her relevance to contemporary society?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would submit that the relevance of Joan of Arc is to show the power of religious fervor.  Joan of Arc is considered a Saint because of her sincerest spiritual dedication.  This zeal is one that convinced her of the certainty of hearing God's voice.  I think that this is where her relevance is felt today.  The power of spirituality and true belief is taken to another level when individuals believe that the divine has authentically communicated with them.  It is to this end where the line between faith and skepticism is drawn.  True or not, Saint Joan of Arc believed that there was a distinct voice of God that spoke to her.  She never recanted this, though compelling means of torture sought to see this happen.  In the modern setting, this takes on a whole new level of analysis.  Political figures like John Brown in America and the rise of fundamentalism all over the world in different forms have claimed with the same level of certainty that they have received instruction from the voice of the divine.  Through such an invocation, it becomes impossible to truly ascertain such a validity.  Saint Joan of Arc is the result of the belief of the divine voice with a positive acceptance.  Fundamentalism "with a happy face" is how her narrative can be viewed.  The modern setting, though, features a much more dark view of this reality, one in which people have perpetrated the worst in crimes because of their certainty that the divine revealed themselves to them and spoke to them.  In this, one sees how the narrative of Saint Joan of Arc has modern relevance.

mad-e | Student

Joan of Arc, also known as "The Maid of Orléans"  is a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic Saint she was born in eastern France.claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon for charges of "insubordination and heterodoxy," and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was only 19 years old.

Joan of Arc rejected the cautious strategy that characterized French leadership during previous campaigns. During the five months of siege before her arrival, the defenders of Orléans attempted only one aggressive move and that ended in disaster. 

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