The 600th year celebration of the birth of Joan of Arc is being celebrated in 2012. Born in France in 1412, she is considered a national heroine and one of the country's patron saints. Nicknamed the "Maid of Orleans", she was a peasant girl who claimed divine guidance when leading the French army to several significant victories during the Hundred Year's War. Captured by the enemy, she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake when she was only 19. Twenty five years later the pope cleared her name and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
Joan of Arc: a Penguin life by Mary Gordon