What Really Happened After Joan Of Arc Died?

It was in the midst of the Hundred Years' War — a territorial conflict between France and England spanning more than a century, between 1337 and 1453 — when Joan of Arc is said to have been visited by the archangel Michael, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine of Alexandria, according to History. Through these visions — which she perceived to be a message from God — Joan, who was only 13 at the time, was inspired to take up the cause for Charles VII, who she believed to be the rightful king of France. And despite being only a child, Joan was allowed to lead Charles' armies against the English and their French allies, the Anglo-Burgundians.

Despite having no military experience whatsoever, Joan of Arc found success on the battlefield, liberating Orléans, and Charles took the crown. Resistance remained, however, and Joan's luck ran out. She was taken prisoner by the Anglo-Burgundians. The horrific and unjust manner by which Joan of Arc was put to death, as well as the outrageous charges levied against her at time, are what Joan of Arc is most well known for today. What really happened after Joan died, however, offers some redemption for the legendary leader.

She was celebrated as a martyr

Following her capture at the hands of the Anglo-Burgundians, Joan — already famous — was put on trial, at least in part in an effort to discredit Charles VII. The charges included heresy, witchcraft, and even wearing the clothing of men, according to Biography. In 1431, she was burned at the stake — not once, but twice, just to make sure she was dead. The ashes were gathered up and scattered in the Seine River. After her execution, fighting over the throne of France would continue for more than two decades, unfortunately, but Charles VII was able to hang on to power, thanks in no small part to Joan's victory at Orléans.

Eventually, the conflict between the two countries subsided, and it's here where things began to turn around for Joan. In 1456, Joan's case was retried at the behest of the same King Charles whom she put on the throne, and as her renown posthumously grew all throughout Europe, she was cleared of all charges. Joan was also recognized as a martyr at this time, and in 1909, she was beatified by Pope Pius X. In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized and now is celebrated as the patron saint of France.