Joan of Arc died at the stake in Rouen in 1431. She became a canonized saint of the Catholic Church only in 1920. It is well known that the wheels of the Vatican grind slowly, but 500 years is a long period to wait for sanctity, even by Roman standards. Obviously, in a short communication such as this, there is no time to explore the rich afterlife which Joan enjoyed between her death and her canonization. Rather, the more modest purpose of this paper is to show how her achievement of canonical status was preceded by a well-orchestrated campaign conducted by French Catholics during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. If Joan was finally reclaimed as a Catholic saint and martyr, it was primarily because she was successfully represented as the very epitome of a heady blend of religion and nationalism that was one of the more distinctive and powerful forces of the era of the belle époque and the First World War.
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