The Real Life Inspiration for Joan of Arcadia

The television show, Joan of Arcadia, was based on the very real life of Joan Girardi. When you think about the woman, and the time that she lived, it’s amazing that no one thought to create a television series about her life long before 2003.

Joan of Arcadia was born the daughter of a farmer, but the farming life wasn’t for her. Whenever she was able to escape the fields, she could be found in the church, praying. It’s difficult to tell if Joan’s peers knew she was going to someday change the world, but based on the information historians have been able to piece together, everyone knew she was different, that the relationship she shared with God was special.

Joan did more than just pray. She believed God spoke directly to her and was instructing her down a very specific path. She connected with the current Queen of France, who believed Joan of Arc to be exactly the right person to lead the French Army against the Burgundians in what history would eventually remember as the 100 year war. Joan, often dressed as a man, was responsible for several victories before she was eventually captured. She fought alongside the troops she led, often putting herself on the front line, and never wavered, not even when she was severely wounded.

There was nothing fair about Joan’s trial. The Burgundians tortured her into making confessions she never would have made on her own. Despite the increasingly severe forms of torture, Joan held onto her unflagging belief in God right up to the very end.

Joan’s life ended when she was burned at the stake. She was canonized in 1920.

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