Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc's Armor


Joan of Arc in armor leading the charge
"I saw her mount her horse, armed all in white armor, except
the head, a little ax in her hand, on a great black courser"

Guy de Laval - a young knight in Joan's army

Joan of Arc was given a suit of "white armor" by Charles VII which was constructed at Tours in March of 1429 while she prepared for battle. White armor was a type of armor worn in the medieval period that was highly polished and when viewed it looked almost white. When Joan wore her armor the effect was probably dazzling giving her an almost ethereal glow that further strengthened her reputation as a saint sent by God to lead the army.

The suit of armor or "harness" as it was referred to in those days probably took some time to construct but was ready by early April as recorded in the records of the city of Tours that "100 livres tournois were paid and delivered by the aforesaid treasure to the master armorer for a complete harness for the aforesaid Maid." Jean Chartier the royal chronicler, later reported that Joan was "armed as quickly as possible with a complete harness such as would have suited a knight who was part of the army and was born in the king's court."

Picture of Postcard showing Joan of Arc with Banner & Shield

Joan wore this armor until Paris when after being wounded in the assault upon Paris she left it at the alter of Saint Denis as an offering which she later described at her trial "that is was an act of devotion, such as soldiers perform when they are wounded." Perceval de Cagney described in the Journal du Siege de Orleans what has become a legendary scene in the life of Joan of Arc: "And when the Maid saw that for her departure she could find no remedy, she gave and laid her armor complete before the image of Our Lady and the relics in the abbey of St. Denis."

Joan of Arc at Prayer by Sir John Everett Millais

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