Joan of Arc was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church

April 19, 2022

On April 19, 1909, Joan of Arc was beatified by Pope Pius X of the Roman Catholic Church. Derived from the Latin words beatus and facere, respectively meaning “blessed” and “to make,” beautification is the process by which the Catholic Church formally recognizes a person’s entrance into heaven after their passing. Such recognition is considered to be a great honor, and furthermore allows the beatified person to be utilized in prayer via a doctrine known as the Intercession of the Saints.

Joan of Arc’s beatification took place at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Born in the Kingdom of France in 1412, during the Middle Ages, she was approximately seventeen years old when she left her hometown and requested to speak to King Charles VII. Her request was ignored two times, in likely part due to her being a young woman from a peasant family. On her third attempt, however, she successfully saw the King.

She testified to receiving messages from three divine figures: the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine. She said they had instructed her to do everything in her power to support the King in recovering the Kingdom of France from English conquest. The King believed her testimony and swiftly sent her to the Siege of Orléans as a member of the relief army. In less than two months after her arrival, she played a decisive role in defeating the English at the Battle of Patay.

She continued her work in defending France with much success, boosting the morale of the French army and French citizens along the way. In 1430, however, she was captured while organizing volunteer efforts and delivered to the English. She was put on trial by an English-siding French bishop, declared guilty of heresy, and burned at the stake. She was nineteen years old at her time of death.

Beatification is sometimes used synonymously with canonization or admission into sainthood by the Catholic Church; however, there are differences between the two. In the case of Joan of Arc, after her record was cleared of all charges, she was the recipient of both honors.

4 Comments

  1. R Williams

    Wasn’t it the Catholic Church that caused her to be burned at the stake as a heretic in the first place? Does this relieve them of that responsibility?

    Reply
  2. Philip Rodi

    Very interesting and enlighting. I feel like I know a little more about history than I did
    before..Good information and explanation of the terms in the church.

    Reply
  3. Diane Young

    I have always been interested in the roles that women have played in history. I’m fascinated by Joan of Arc’s dreams/ visions as a peasant teenage girl that led her to persist until she succeeded in obtaining an audience with King Charles, as well as his belief in her, and then her dynamic actions to rally and inspire the French army and people against the English. Thank you for retelling her amazing but tragic story, including her beatification hundreds of years
    later.

    Reply
  4. John P Andretta

    From what I know of pope pius the x it would of had to be JOHN of arc for the “Vicker of Christ” to do anything…. & if anything he would of probably poisoned the corpse… Pius in all his holiness had a back for poison & subterfuge leading to the death of 10’s if not 100’s of millions….
    Spoiler alert…
    Francis…. The Jesuit… last pope folks …mark my words

    Reply

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