Joan of Arc life

   The patron saint of France, Joan of Arc was a peasant girl of about 13 when she first heard the voices of Saints Michael, Catherine and Margaret urging her to "go to succor the king of France." Probably the most famous clairaudient in history, she is but one of many whose experiences resulted in accusations of heresy or witchcraft.
   France was in the last years of the Hundred Years' War and bitterly divided when Joan was born in the town of Domrémy-la-Pucelle in approximately 1412. The Duke of Burgundy and his English allies controlled most of the north, including Rheims, Rouen and Paris, while the frail dauphin, Charles VII, had retreated to the south; from there he seemed incapable of defending his kingdom or claiming his title.
   In the autumn of 1428, about the time the English began their siege of Orleans, the voices speaking to Joan grew more insistent. In February 1429 she finally succeeded in persuading a local military commander to provide her an escort to the dauphin at Chinon, where she was able to convince the dauphin and his advisers that her voices were genuine and of heavenly origin. In May 1429 the young peasant woman led the French Army into battle and lifted the siege of Orleans. A few months later she stood beside the dau­phin as he was crowned king at Rheims, but in May 1430 she was captured by the Burgundians at Compiégne and eventually turned over to the English, who tried her as a heretic. One of the main charges against her stemmed from her claim to have followed the will of God as transmitted by the saints. Joan of Arc was convicted and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431.
   Clairaudience is a markedly rarer phenomenon than clairvoyance, but accounts of it suggest an equivalent clarity and realism in the experience, which must be distinguished from the "inner voice" of dreams and mediumistic trances.

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