Fun Facts about Joan of Arc

2 Mar

When I was researching my article on Joan (who wasn’t really called ‘of Arc’, by the way) for my article in the latest edition of Premier Christianity Magazine, I came across a number of facts that I couldn’t squeeze into the article, but which deserve to be shared anyway. I’ve called this “Fun facts about Joan of Arc” but really it should be called “Fun facts which are at least tangentially linked to Joan (not of Arc)”. But that’s not so snappy.

I absolutely love this picture of Joan by Albert Lynch.
  • She had twelve horses! I don’t mean in her capacity as a horse breeder (she wasn’t), but just for her, to ride! Everywhere she went, people seemed obsessed with giving her horses. She said at final count she had five chargers and seven plain old ‘trotters’.
  • The three lions of England (the ones on football shirts) are the two lions of Normandy and the single lion of Aquitaine. In other words, they’re French.
  • One of Joan’s comrades was Gilles de Rais, the serial killer who was part of the inspiration for the tale of Bluebeard. He didn’t start murdering until after Joan’s death, though. She wouldn’t have approved of that sort of thing.
  • Joan’s mission in life was to have the King crowned in Reims, and her village, Domrémy, was dedicated to St Rém, the Bishop of Reims, who in 496 persuaded Clovis King of the Franks to be baptised, consecrated and crowned at Reims.
  • A devil’s advocate is a real thing, not just an expression. It’s the person who argues against someone’s canonisation or beatification (i.e. argues the case that they don’t deserve to be declared a saint). In Joan’s case, the devil’s advocate made a big deal of her supposed (but very doubtful) suicide attempt, and the fact that she agreed to let a man go but, when circumstances changed, she executed him.
  • Joan was not especially tall, so she needed a mounting block to get on her horse, except… she could mount a horse by leapfrogging onto it from behind, like a cowgirl!
  • Her main enemy at court, Georges de la Trémoïlle, was so fat that an assassination attempt allegedly failed because the swords could not reach his vital organs!

One Response to “Fun Facts about Joan of Arc”

  1. mostreliable March 2, 2020 at 12:35 pm #

    This was fascinating! Especially the cowgirl one!!
    Find me on my blog:

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