Vatican City, Jan 26, 2011/(CNA/EWTN News).- St. Joan of Arc was united in prayer to Christ even at the end of her short life, when she yelled his name while being burned at the stake, the Pope said, holding her up as a model of strength. Pope Benedict XVI shared the story of St. Joan of Arc and her heroic sanctity at the general audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall on Jan. 26. More than 3,000 people were gathered in the auditorium for the occasion. She was just 19 years old when she was sentenced to death, but the French teenager was one of the "strong women" at the end of the Middle Ages, "who fearlessly brought the splendid light of the Gospel into the complex events of history," said the Pope. Born to a peasant family in a time of war between England and France, Joan brought herself to the attention of an important nobleman at the time. She was just 17, but hoped to achieve peace by imploring a settlement between the two Christian nations in the name of Jesus. The nobleman, convinced of her Christian goodwill by local theologians, allowed her to try. When her efforts failed she soon found herself at the head of an army defending the French city of Orleans.
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