Joan of Arc
Joan was born a peasant girl in eastern France. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years’ War, including the siege of Orleans which had been going on under military commanders for more than 8 months and which Joan ended in only 9 days, a feat which later paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France. She was captured and transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop Pierre Cauchon for charges of “insubordination and heterodoxy”, and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was only 19 years old.
Twenty-five years after her martyrdom, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is – along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis IX, and St. Theresa of Lisieux – one of the patron saints of France.
I have not discovered such courage and resolve displayed through history by someone so young.