The 13-year-old shepherd girl Joan knew that her poor country, France, was suffering terribly. There had been so much fighting between France and England, and the French Prince Charles did not even have the strength to claim his throne. As time went on, Joan began hearing the voices of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret of Antioch and St. Catherine of Alexandria, preparing her for an amazing mission. She was commanded to go lead Prince Charles to the city of Rheims to be crowned King. Joan made her way to the French court. There Prince Charles gave her some soldiers with which to drive the English out of France, as her voices had directed her. Then 17-year-old Joan led the troops into battle, winning wonderful victories. She led the Prince to Rheims Cathedral, where he was crowned King Charles the Seventh of France. Joan's heavenly voices told her that her chief work on earth was finished; now her task was to suffer. Some evil men had her thrown into prison-then some disloyal Frenchmen sold her to the English. Many lies were told against Joan, and she was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Before she died, Joan asked for a cross to kiss. Holding the cross, her last word was "Jesus " As the smoke and fire consumed her body, Joan's beautiful brave soul went home to God. Joan of Arc is now Patroness of France and a Saint of the Universal Church.
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