In the long wars between the French and English not even the Black Prince or King Henry V gained such fame as did a young French peasant girl, Joan of Arc.
She was born in the little village of Domremy (dom-re-me'). Her father had often told her of the sad condition of France — how the country was largely in the possession of England , and how the French king did not dare to be crowned.
And so the thought came to be ever in her mind, "How I pity my country!" She brooded over the matter so much that by and by she began to have visions of angels and heard strange voices, which said to her, "Joan, you can deliver the land from the English. go to the relief of King Charles."
At last these strange visions and voices made the young girl believe that she had a mission from God, and she determined to try to save France .
When she told her father and mother of her purpose, they tried to persuade her that the visions of angels and the voices telling her of the divine mission were but dreams. "I tell thee, Joan, " said her father, "it is thy fancy. Thou hadst better have a kind husband to take care of thee, and do some work to employ thy mind."
"Father, I must do what God has willed, for this is no work of my choosing, " she replied. "Mother, I would far rather sit and spin by your side than take part in war. My mission is no dream. I know that I have been chosen by the Lord to fulfill His purpose and nothing can prevent me from going where He purposes to send me."
The village priest, her young companions, even the governor of the town, all tried to stop her, but it was in vain.
To the governor she said, "I must do the work my Lord has laid out for me."
Little by little people began to believe in her mission. At last all stopped trying to discourage her and some who were wealthy helped her to make the journey to the town of Chinon (she-non'), where the French king, Charles the Seventh, was living.