Saint Joan of Arc was a French peasant girl turned military leader who fought against England in the Hundred Year’s War.
Divinely inspired by what she considered the voices of Saints Michael, Catherine, and Margaret, she dawned on men’s clothing and convinced France’s crown prince (later crowned King Charles VII) to support her in fending off the English. She successfully recaptured Orléans in 1429 and subsequently Patay.
However, her unsuccessful siege of Paris led to her capture by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English. Abandoned by Charles, she was brought to the ecclesiastical court in Rouen – whose clerics supported the English – and was tried for heresy and witchcraft, which commenced on January 9th, 1431.
Having recanted, she was sentenced to life imprisonment, but upon repeating she could hear voices of saints, she was burnt at the stake.
Other notable events on January 9th:
- In 2005, Mahmood Abbas, the founder of Fatah, was elected President of the Palestinian Authority.
- In 2001, the company Apple introduced iTunes, the digital media player application.
- In 1861, the first shots between the South and North of the Union were fired, although it did not trigger the American Civil War.