St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan d'Arc was born in France in 1412. Her father was a hardworking farmer and her mother was a loving woman accomplished at sewing and spinning. Little Joan loved the Blessed Mother and prayed to her every day. She tended the sheep for her family.
One day when she was 16, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to her and told her to "Go save France." The king of France was a weak and ineffective ruler who was convinced that France would lose. He granted Joan of Arc the right to lead his armies. The English had captured so much French territory in this "hundred year war" that the King of England was jokingly called the King of France as well.
The first important battle for Joan's armies was at Orleans. Joan's armies charged the English and drove them back and the enemy retreated. Many similar hard fought victories were achieved beyond Orleans with the saints always at Joan's side urging her on. Eventually, the wars were over and Joan of Arc and the French were victorious.
After the battles, the enemy captured Joan of Arc. France's lazy king did not even try to save her. She was tried and unfairly accused of wrongdoing. Still only a teenager, she was burned at the stake on May 30, 1531 but to the horror of her accusers, her heart would not burn. Joan of Arc was proclaimed a saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.