Saturday, April 25, 2020

5th Public Examination of Joan of Arc: Three Popes Mentioned



Thursday, March 1st, in the same place, the Bishop and 58 Assessors present.
In their presence, We summoned and required Jeanne simply and absolutely to take her oath to speak the truth on that which should be asked her.
“I am ready,” she replied, “as I have already declared to you, to speak the truth on all I know touching this Case; but I know many things which do not touch on this Case, and of which there is no need to speak to you. I will speak willingly and in all truth on all that touches this Case.”
We again summoned and required her; and she replied:
“What I know in truth touching the Case, I will tell willingly.”
And in this wise did she swear, her hands on the Holy Gospels. Then she said: “On what I know touching this Case, I will speak the truth willingly; I will tell you as much as I would to the Pope of Rome, if I were before him.”
Then she was examined as follows:
“What do you say of our Lord the Pope? and whom do you believe to be the true Pope?”
“Are there two of them?”
“Did you not receive a letter from the Count d’Armagnac, asking you which of the three Pontiffs he ought to obey?” (1)….(The “three Pontiffs” referred to are Martin V (Colonna), the real and acknowledged Pope; the schismatic, Clement VIII; and a mere pretender, Benedict XIV, who was supported only by one Cardinal. The Schism was practically at an end at the time of this letter, as Clement had abdicated a month earlier (July 26th). Clement VIII is the true title, though called Clement VII in Count d’Armagnac’s letter.)
“The Count did in fact write to me on this subject. I replied, among other things, that when I should be at rest, in Paris or elsewhere, I would give him an answer. I was just at that moment mounting my horse when I sent this reply.”
At this juncture, We ordered to be read the copy of the Count’s letter and of Jeanne’s reply, which are thus expressed :
“My very dear Lady – I humbly commend myself to you, and pray, for God’s sake, that, considering the divisions which are at this present time in the Holy Church Universal on the question of the Popes, for there are now three contending for the Papacy one residing at Rome, calling himself Martin V, whom all Christian Kings obey; another, living at Paniscole, in the Kingdom of Valence, who calls himself Clement VII; the third, no one knows where he lives, unless it be the Cardinal Saint Etienne and some few people with him, but he calls himself Pope Benedict XIV. The first, who styles himself Pope Martin, was elected at Constance with the consent of all Christian nations; he who is called Clement was elected at Paniscole, after the death of Pope Benedict XIII, by three of his Cardinals; the third, who dubs himself Benedict XIV, was elected secretly at Paniscole, even by the Cardinal Saint Etienne. You will have the goodness to pray Our Savior Jesus Christ that by His infinite Mercy He may by you declare to us which of the three named is Pope in truth, and whom it pleases Him that we should obey, now and henceforward, whether he who is called Martin, he who is called Clement, or he who is called Benedict; and in whom we are to believe, if secretly, or by any dissembling, or publicly; for we are all ready to do the will and pleasure of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yours in all things, COUNT D’ARMAGNAC.”
Jeanne’s Reply.
“Jhesus Maria.”
“Count d’Armagnac, my very good and dear friend, I, Jeanne, the Maid, acquaint you that your message has come before me, which tells me that you have sent at once to know from me which of the three Popes, mentioned in your memorial, you should believe. This thing I cannot tell you truly at present, until I am at rest in Paris or elsewhere; for I am now too much hindered by affairs of war; but when you hear that I am in Paris, send a message to me and I will inform you in truth whom you should believe, and what I shall know by the counsel of my Righteous and Sovereign Lord, the King of all the World, and of what you should do to the extent of my power. I commend you to God. May God have you in His keeping! Written at Compiegne, August 22nd.”
Then the Inquiry proceeded thus:
“Is this really the reply that you made?”
“I think that I might have made this answer in part, but not all.”
“Did you say that you might know, by the counsel of the King of Kings, what the Count should hold on this subject ?”
“I know nothing about it.”
“Had you any doubt about whom the Count should obey?”


“I did not know how to inform him on this question, as to whom he should obey, because the Count himself asked to know whom God wished him to obey. But for myself, I hold and believe that we should obey our Lord the Pope who is in Rome. I told the messenger of the Count some things which are not in this copy; and, if the messenger had not gone off immediately, he would have been thrown into the water – not by me, however. As to the Count’s inquiry, desiring to know whom God wished him to obey, I answered that I did not know; but I sent him messages on several things which have not been put in writing. As for me, I believe in our Lord the Pope who is at Rome.”
“Why did you write that you would give an answer elsewhere if you believed in the Pope who is at Rome?”
“That answer had reference to other things than the matter of the sovereign Pontiffs.”
“Did you say that on the matter of the three sovereign Pontiffs you would have counsel?”
“I never wrote nor gave command to write on the matter of the three sovereign Pontiffs.” And this answer she supported by oath.
“Are you in the habit of putting the Names ‘Jhesus Maria,’ with a cross, at the top of your letters?”
“On some I put it, on others not; sometimes I put a cross as a sign for those of my party to whom I wrote so that they should not do as the letters said.”
Here a letter was read from Jeanne to our Lord the King, to the Duke of Bedford, and others, of the following tenor :
“Jhesus Maria.”
“King of England; and you, Duke of Bedford, who call yourself Regent of the Kingdom of France; you, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk; John, Lord Talbot; and you, Thomas, Lord Scales, who call yourselves Lieutenants to the said Duke of Bedford: give satisfaction to the King of Heaven: give up to the Maid, who is sent hither by God, the King of Heaven, the keys of all the good towns in France which you have taken, and broken into. She is come here by the order of God to reclaim the Blood Royal. She is quite ready to make peace, if you are willing to give her satisfaction, by giving and paying back to France what you have taken. And as for you, archers, companions-in-arms, gentlemen and others who are before the town of Orleans, return to your own countries, by God’s order; and if this be not done, then hear the message of the Maid, who will shortly come upon you, to your very great hurt. King of England, I am a Chieftain of war and, if this be not done, where so ever I find your followers in France, I willmake them leave, willingly or unwillingly; if they will not obey, I will have them put to death. I am sent here by God, the King of Heaven, body for body, to drive them all out of the whole of France. And if they will obey, I will have mercy on them. And do not think to yourselves that you will get possession of the realm of France from God the King of Heaven, Son of the Blessed Mary; for King Charles will gain it, the true heir: and God, the King of Heaven, so wills it, and it is revealed to him [the King] by the Maid, and he will enter Paris with a good company. If you will not believe the message of God and of the Maid and act aright, in whatsoever place we find you we will enter therein and make so great a disturbance that for a thousand years none in France will be so great. And believe surely that the King of Heaven will send greater power to the Maid, to her and her good men-at-arms, than you can bring to the attack; and, when it comes to blows, we shall see who has the better right from the God of Heaven. You, Duke of Bedford, the Maid prays and enjoins you, that you do not come to grievous hurt. If you will give her satisfactory pledges, you may yet join with her, so that the French may do the fairest deed that has ever yet been done for Christendom. And answer, if you wish to make peace in the City of Orleans; if this be not done, you may be shortly reminded of it, to your very great hurt. Written this Tuesday in Holy Week, March 22nd, 1428.”
“Do you know this letter ?”
“Yes, excepting three words. In place of ‘give up to the Maid,’ it should be ‘give up to the King.’ The words ‘Chieftain of war’ and ‘body for body’ were not in the letter I sent. None of the Lords ever dictated these letters to me; it was I myself alone who dictated them before sending them. Nevertheless, I always showed them to some of my party. Before seven years are passed, the English will lose a greater wager than they have already done at Orleans; they will lose everything in France. (2)….(The English lost Paris in 1436.) The English will have in France a greater loss than they have ever had, and that by a great victory which God will send to the French.”
“How do you know this?”
“I know it well by revelation, which has been made to me, and that this will happen within seven years; and I am sore vexed that it is deferred so long. I know it by revelation, as clearly as I know that you are before me at this moment.”
“When will this happen?”
“I know neither the day nor the hour.”
“In what year will it happen?”
“You will not have any more. Nevertheless, I heartily wish it might be before Saint John’s Day.”
“Did you not say that this would happen before Martinmas, in winter?”
“I said that before Martinmas many things would be seen, and that the English might perhaps be overthrown.”
“What did you say to John Grey, your keeper, on the subject of the Feast of Saint Martin?”
“I have told you.”
“Through whom did you know that this would happen?”
“Through Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret.”
“Was Saint Gabriel with Saint Michael when he came to you?”
“I do not remember.”
“Since last Tuesday, have you had any converse with Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?”
“Yes, but I do not know at what time.”
“What day?”
“Yesterday and today ; there is never a day that I do not hear them.”
“Do you always see them in the same dress?”
“I see them always under the same form, and their heads are richly crowned. I do not speak of the rest of their clothing: I know nothing of their dresses.”
“How do you know whether the object that appears to you is male or female?”
“I know well enough. I recognize them by their voices, as they revealed themselves to me; I know nothing but by the revelation and order of God.”
“What part of their heads do you see?”
“The face.”
“These saints who show themselves to you, have they any hair?”
“It is well to know they have.”
“Is there anything between their crowns and their hair?”
“No.”
“Is their hair long and hanging down?”
“I know nothing about it. I do not know if they have arms or other members. They speak very well and in very good language; I hear them very well.”
“How do they speak if they have no members?”
“I refer me to God. The voice is beautiful, sweet, and low; it speaks in the French tongue.”
“Does not Saint Margaret speak English?”
“Why should she speak English, when she is not on the English side?”
“On these crowned heads, were there rings? – in the ears or elsewhere?”
“I know nothing about it.”
“Have you any rings yourself?”
[Addressing herself to Us, the Bishop:] “You have one of mine; give it back to me. The Burgundians have another of them. I pray you, if you have my ring, show it to me.”
“Who gave you the ring which the Burgundians [now] have?”
“My father or my mother. I think the Names ‘Jhesus Maria’ are engraved on it. I do not know who had them written there; there is not, I should say, any stone in the ring; it was given to me at Domremy. It was my brother who gave me the other – the one you have.”
[Continuing to address herself to Us, the Bishop:] “I charge you to give it to the Church. I never cured any one with any of my rings.”
“Did Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret speak to you under the tree of which mention has been made ?”

“I know nothing of it.”
“Did they speak to you at the spring, which is near the tree?”
“Yes, I have heard them there ; but what they said then, I do not know.”
“What did they promise you, there or elsewhere?”
“They have never promised me anything, except by God’s leave.”
” But still, what promises have they made to you?”
“That is not in your Case: not at all. Upon other subjects, they told me that my King would be re-established in his Kingdom, whether his enemies willed it or no; they told me also that they would lead me to Paradise: I begged it of them, indeed.”
“Did you have any other promise from them?”
“There was another, but I will not tell it; that does not touch on the Case. In three months I will tell you the other promise.”
“Have your Voices said that before three months you will be delivered from prison?”
“That is not in your Case. Nevertheless I do not know when I shall be delivered. But those who wish to send me out of the world may well go before me.”
“Has not your counsel told you that you will be delivered from your actual prison?”
“Speak to me in three months, and I will answer. Moreover, ask of those present, upon oath, if this touches on the Trial.”
We, the said Bishop, did then take the opinion of those present: and all considered that this did touch on the Trial.
“I have already told you, you shall not know all. One day I must be delivered. But I wish to have leave to tell you the day: it is for this I ask delay.”
“Have your Voices forbidden you to speak the truth?”
“Do you want me to tell you what concerns the King of France? There are a number of things that do not touch on the Case. I know well that my King will regain the Kingdom of France. I know it as well as I know that you are before me, seated in judgment. I should die if this revelation did not comfort me every day.”
“What have you done with your mandrake?”(4)….(The mandrake was a part of the accepted paraphernalia of a sorcerer. It was kept wrapped in a silk or linen cloth, and was supposed to preserve its owner from poverty. Brother Richard had recently preached a sermon against them (April, 1429); and many had been burned in consequence.)
“I never have had one. But I have heard that there is one near our home, though I have never seen it. I have heard it is a dangerous and evil thing to keep. I do not know for what it is [used].”
“Where is this mandrake of which you have heard?”
“I have heard that it is in the earth, near the tree of which I spoke before; but I do not know the place. Above this mandrake, there was, it is said, a hazel tree.”
“What have you heard said was the use of this mandrake?”
“To make money come: but I do not believe it. My Voice never spoke to me of that.”
“In what likeness did Saint Michael appear to you?”
“I did not see a crown: I know nothing of his dress.”
“Was he naked?”
“Do you think God has not wherewithal to clothe him?”
“Had he hair?”
“Why should it have been cut off? I have not seen Saint Michael since I left the Castle of Crotoy. I do not see him often. I do not know if he has hair.”
“Has he a balance ?” [weight scales- St. Michael is often depicted holding them]
“I know nothing about it. It was a great joy to see him ; it seemed to me, when I saw him, that I was not in mortal sin. Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret were pleased from time to time to receive my confession, each in turn. If I am in mortal sin, it is without my knowing it.”
“When you confessed, did you think you were in mortal sin?”
“I do not know if I am in mortal sin, and, if it please God, I will never so be; I do not believe I have done its works; nor, please God, have I ever done or ever will do deeds which charge my soul!”
“What sign did you give your King that you came from God?”
“I have always answered that you will not drag this from my lips. Go and ask it of him.”
“Have you sworn not to reveal what shall be asked of you touching the Trial?”
“I have already told you that I will tell you nothing of what concerns my King. Thereon I will not speak.”

“Do you not know the sign that you gave to the King?”
“You will not know it from me.”
“But this touches on the Trial.”
“Of what I have promised to keep secret, I will tell you nothing. I have already said, even here, that I could not tell you without perjury.”
“To whom have you promised this?”
“To Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret ; and this had been shown to the King. I promised them, without their asking it of me, of my own free-will, of myself, because too many people might have questioned me had I not promised it to my Saints.”
“When you showed your sign to the King, were you alone with him?”
“I do not take account of any one else, although there were many people near.”
“When you showed this sign to the King, did you see a crown on his head?”
“I cannot tell you without perjury.”
“Had your King a crown at Reims?”
“I think my King took with joy the crown that he had at Reims; but another, much richer, would have been given him later. He acted thus to hurry on his work, at the request of the people of the town of Reims, to avoid too long a charge upon them of the soldiers. If he had waited, he would have had a crown a thousand times more rich.”
“Have you seen this richer crown ?”
“I cannot tell you without incurring perjury; and, though I have not seen it, I have heard that it is rich and valuable to a degree.”
This done, We put an end to the interrogation and postponed the remainder to Saturday next, 8 o’clock in the morning, in the same place, summoning all the Assessors to be present.

For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Fourth Public Examination of Joan of Arc - She Discusses the Voices in Her Head




Tuesday, February 27th, in the same place. The Bishop and 54 Assessors present.
In their presence, We required the said Jeanne to swear to tell the truth on everything touching her Trial.
“Willingly will I swear,” she answered, “to tell the truth on everything touching the trial, but not all that I know.”
We required her again to speak the truth on all which should be asked of her.
“You ought to be satisfied,” she answered. “I have sworn enough.”
Then, by Our order, Maître Beaupère began to question her. And first he inquired of her, how she had been since the Saturday before?
“You can see for yourself how I am. I am as well as can be.”
“Do you fast every day this Lent?”
“Is that in the Case? Well, yes! I have fasted every day during this Lent.”
“Have you heard your Voices since Saturday?”
“Yes, truly, many times.”
“Did you hear them on Saturday in this hall, where you were being examined?”
“That is not in your Case. Very well, then – yes! I did hear them.”
“What did your Voice say to you last Saturday?”
“I did not quite understand it; and up to the moment when I returned to my room, I heard nothing that I may repeat to you.”
“What did it say to you in your room, on your return?”
“It said to me, ‘Answer them boldly.’ I take counsel with my Voice about what you ask me. I will tell willingly whatever I shall have permission from God to reveal: as to the revelations concerning the King of France, I will not tell them without the permission of my Voice.”
“Has your Voice forbidden you to tell everything?”
“I did not quite understand it.”
“What did your Voice last say to you?”
“I asked counsel about certain things that you had asked me.”
“Did it give you counsel?”
“On some points, yes; on others you may ask me for an answer that I shall not give, not having had leave. For, if I answered without leave, I should no longer have my Voices as warrant. When I have permission from Our Savior, I shall not fear to speak, because I shall have warrant.”
“This Voice that speaks to you, is it that of an Angel, or of a Saint, or from God direct?”
“It is the Voice of Saint Catherine and of Saint Margaret. Their faces are adorned with beautiful crowns, very rich and precious. To tell you this I have leave from Our Lord. If you doubt this, send to Poitiers, where I was examined before.”
“How do you know if these were the two Saints?”
“How do you distinguish one from the other?”
“I know quite well it is they; and I can easily distinguish one from the other.”
” How do you distinguish them?”
” By the greeting they give me. It is seven years now since they have undertaken to guide me. I know them well because they were named to me.”
“Are these two Saints dressed in the same stuff?”
“I will tell you no more just now; I have not permission to reveal it. If you do not believe me, go to Poitiers. There are some revelations which come to the King of France, and not to you, who are questioning me.”
“Are they of the same age?”
“I have not leave to say.”
“Do they speak at the same time, or one after the other?”
“I have not leave to say; nevertheless, I have always had counsel from them both.”
” Which of them appeared to you first?”
“I did not distinguish them at first. I knew well enough once, but I have forgotten. If I had leave, I would tell you willingly : it is written in the Register at Poitiers. (This Examination at Poitiers had taken place in the Chapel attached to the Palace of the Counts of Poitou, which still exists and adjoins the ‘Salle des Pas Perdus,’ now the Great Hall of the Palais de Justice. It was conducted under the direction of the Archbishop of Reims during the months of March and April, 1429. At the conclusion, the assembly sent a resolution to the King to the effect that he should follow the Maid’s guidance, and seek for the sign she promised him in the relief of Orleans, as a proof of the Divine origin of her mission. Unfortunately, no trace of this Examination has been found: the ‘Book of Poitiers’ is referred to several times in the Trial ; but it was not forth coming at the time of the Rehabilitation. It was probably lost or destroyed by Jeanne’s enemies among her own party.)

“I have also received comfort from Saint Michael.”
“Which of these two appearances came to you first?”
“Saint Michael.”
“Is it a long time since you first heard the voice of Saint Michael?”
“I did not say anything to you about the voice of Saint Michael; I say I have had great comfort from him.”
“What was the first Voice that came to you when you were about thirteen?”
“It was Saint Michael: I saw him before my eyes; he was not alone, but quite surrounded by the Angels of Heaven. I came into France only by the order of God.”
“Did you see Saint Michael and these Angels bodily and in reality?”
“I saw them with my bodily eyes as well as I see you; when they went from me, I wept. I should have liked to be taken away with them.”
“And what was Saint Michael like?”
“You will have no more answer from me; and I am not yet free to tell you.”
“What did Saint Michael say to you this first time?”
“You will have no more answer about it from me today. My Voices said to me, ‘Reply boldly.’ Once I told the King all that had been revealed to me, because it concerned him ; but I am no longer free to reveal to you all that Saint Michael said to me.”
[To Maître Beaupère:] “I wish you could get a copy of this book at Poitiers, if it please God.”
“Have your Voices forbidden you to make known your revelations without leave from them?”
“I will answer you no more about it. On all that I have leave, I will answer willingly. I have not quite understood if my Voices have forbidden me to answer.”
“What sign do you give that you have this revelation from God, and that it is Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret that talk with you?”
“I have told you that it is they ; believe me if you will.”
“Are you forbidden to say?”
“I have not quite understood if this is forbidden or not.”
“How can you make sure of distinguishing such things as you are free to tell, from those which are forbidden?”
“On some points I have asked leave, and on others I have obtained it. I would rather have been torn asunder by four horses than have come into France without God’s leave.”
“Was it God who prescribed to you the dress of a man?”
“What concerns this dress is a small thing – less than nothing. I did not take it by the advice of any man in the world. I did not take this dress or do anything but by the command of Our Lord and of the Angels.”
“Did it appear to you that this command to take man’s dress was lawful?”
“All I have done is by Our Lord’s command. If I had been told to take some other, I should have done it; because it would have been His command.”
“Did you not take this garment by order of Robert de Baudricourt?”
“No.”
“Do you think it was well to take a man’s dress?”
“All that I have done by the order of Our Lord I think has been well done; I look for good surety and good help in it.”
“In this particular case, this taking of man’s dress, do you think you did well?”
“I have done nothing in the world but by the order of God.”
“When you saw this Voice coming to you, was there a light?”
“There was plenty of light everywhere, as was seemly.”
[Addressing herself to Maître Beaupère:] “It does not all come to you!”
“Was there an angel over the head of your King when you saw him for the first time?”
“By Our Lady! if there were, I know nothing of it; I did not see it.”
“Was there a light?”
“There were more than three hundred Knights and more than fifty torches, without counting the spiritual light.”
“Why was your King able to put faith in your words?”
“He had good signs, and the clergy bore me witness.”
“What revelations has your King had?”
“You will not have them from me this year. During three weeks I was questioned by the clergy at Chinon and at Poitiers. Before he was willing to believe me, the King had a sign of my mission ; and the clergy of my party were of opinion that there was nothing but good in my mission.”
“Have you been to Saint Catherine de Fierbois?”
“Yes, and I heard there three Masses in one day. Afterwards, I went to the Castle of Chinon, whence I sent letters to the King, to know if I should be allowed to see him; saying, that I had traveled a hundred and fifty leagues to come to his help, and that I knew many things good for him. I think I remember there was in my letter the remark that I should recognize him among all others. I had a sword I had taken at Vaucouleurs. Whilst I was at Tours, or at Chinon, I sent to seek for a sword which was in the Church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; it was found there at once; the sword was in the ground, and rusty; upon it were five crosses; I knew by my Voice where it was. I had never seen the man who went to seek for it. I wrote to the Priests of the place, that it might please them to let me have this sword, and they sent it to me. It was under the earth, not very deeply buried, behind the altar, so it seemed to me: I do not know exactly if it were before or behind the altar, but I believe I wrote saying that it was at the back. As soon as it was found, the Priests of the Church rubbed it, and the rust fell off at once without effort. It was an armorer of Tours who went to look for it. The Priests of Fierbois made me a present of a scabbard; those of Tours, of another; one was of crimson velvet, the other of cloth-of-gold. I had a third made of leather, very strong. When I was taken prisoner I had not got this sword. I always bore the sword of Fierbois from the time I had it up to my departure from Saint-Denis, after the attack on Paris.” (On September 13th, 1429.)

“What blessing did you invoke, or have invoked, on this sword?”
“I neither blessed it, nor had it blessed : I should not have known how to set about it. I cared very much for this sword, because it had been found in the Church of Saint Catherine, whom I love so much.”
“Have you been at Coulange-les-Vineuses?”
“I do not know.”
“Have you sometimes placed your sword upon an altar; and, in so placing it, was it that your sword might be more fortunate?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Have you sometimes prayed that it might be more fortunate?”
“It is good to know that I wished my armor might have good fortune!”
“Had you your sword when you were taken prisoner?”
“No, I had one which had been taken on a Burgundian.”
“Where was the sword of Fierbois left?”
“I offered at Saint-Denis a sword and armor; it was not this sword. I had that at Lagny; from Lagny to Compiegne, I bore the sword of this Burgundian; it was a good sword for fighting – very good for giving stout buffets and hard clouts. To tell what became of the other sword does not concern this Case, and I will not answer about it now. My brothers have all my goods – my horses,(6)….(Jeanne appears to have been a good horse-woman; she rode “horses so ill-tempered that no one would dare to ride them.” The Duke de Lorraine, on her first visit to him, and the Duke d’Alencon, after seeing her skill in riding a course, each gave her a horse; and we read also of a gift of a war-horse from the town of Orleans, and “many horses of value” sent from the Duke of Brittany. She had entered Orleans on a white horse, according to the Journal du Siege d’Orleans; but seems to have been in the habit of riding black chargers in war; and mention is also made by Chatelain of a “lyart” or gray. A story, repeated in a letter from Guy de Laval, relates that, on one occasion (June 6th, 1428), when her horse,” a fine black war-horse” was brought to the door, he was so restive that he would not stand still. “Take him to the Cross,” she said; and there he stood, “as though he were tied,” while she mounted. This was at Selles; and local tradition says that, from her lodging (a Dominican Monastery now the Lion d’Or hotel) the old iron town-cross was visible. It stood until about a century ago some fifteen paces in front of the north door of the Church, and was removed when the cemetery was converted into a market place. The Monastery was the property of the monks of Glatigny.) my sword, so far as I know, and the rest, which are worth more than twelve thousand crowns.”
“When you were at Orleans, had you a standard, or banner and of what color was it?”
“I had a banner of which the field was sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted there, with an angel at each side; it was white, of the white cloth called ‘boccassin’ ; there was written above, I believe, ‘Jhesus Maria’ ; it was fringed with silk.”
“The words ‘Jhesus Maria’ were they written above, below, or on the side?”
“At the side, I believe.”
“Which did you care for most, your banner or your sword?”
“Better, forty times better, my banner than my sword!”
“Who made you get this painting done upon your banner?”
“I have told you often enough, that I had nothing done but by the command of God. It was I, myself who bore this banner, when I attacked the enemy, to save killing any one, for I have never killed any one.”
“What force did your King give you when he set you to work?”
“He gave me ten or twelve thousand men. First, I went to Orleans, to the fortress of Saint Loup, and afterwards to that of the Bridge.”
“Which fortress was being attacked when you made your men retire?”
“I do not remember. I was quite certain of raising the siege of Orleans; I had revelation of it. I told this to the King before going there.”
“Before the assault, did you not tell your followers that you alone would receive the arrows, cross-bolts, and stones, thrown by the machines and cannons ?”
“No; a hundred and even more of my people were wounded. I had said to them: ‘Be fearless, and you will raise the siege.’ Then, in the attack on the Bridge fortress, I was wounded in the neck by an arrow or cross-bolt; (May 7th, 1429.) but I had great comfort from Saint Catherine, and was cured in less than a fortnight. I did not interrupt for this either my riding or work. I knew quite well that I should be wounded; I had told the King so, but that, notwithstanding, I should go on with my work. This had been revealed to me by the Voices of my two Saints, the blessed Catherine and the blessed Margaret. It was I who first planted a ladder against the fortress of the Bridge, and it was in raising this ladder that I was wounded in the neck by this cross-bolt.”
“Why did you not accept the treaty with the Captain of Jargeau?”(June 11th, 1429.)
“It was the Lords of my party who answered the English that they should not have the fortnight’s delay which they asked, telling them that they were to retire at once, they and their horses. As for me, I told them of Jargeau to retire if they wished, with their doublets, and their lives safe; if not, they would be taken by assault.”
“Had you any revelation from your counsel, that is to say from your Voices, to know whether it was right or not to give this fortnight’s respite?”
“I do not remember.”
At this point, the rest of the inquiry had been postponed to another day. We have fixed for Thursday the next Meeting, at the same place.

For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Third Public Examination of Joan of Arc - The Prophecies of Merlin


On Saturday February 24th, 1431, there opened in Rouen before a church tribunal chaired by Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais. It was a “trial in matters of faith” and one which that would lead Joan of Arc the stake on 30 May of the same year.

As we remember Joan was the fifteen year old divine “mad woman” who inspired the French to repel English invaders. She was captured during the siege of Compiègne in 1430. Her subsequent trial for heresy was the documented fully. Of no other trial in the 15th Century do we have a record as accurate and detailed. It is considered one of the most significant and moving trials ever conducted in human history.


In their presence We did require the forenamed Jeanne to swear to speak the truth simply and absolutely on the questions to be addressed to her, without adding any restriction to her oath. We did three times thus admonish her. She answered: “Give me leave to speak. By my faith! you may well ask me such things as I will not tell you. Perhaps on many of the things you may ask me I shall not tell you truly, especially on those that touch on my revelations; for you may constrain me to say things that I have sworn not to say; then I should be perjured, which you ought not to wish.”
[Addressing the Bishop:] “I tell you, take good heed of what you say, you, who are my Judge ; you take a great responsibility in thus charging me. I should say that it is enough to have sworn twice.”
“Will you swear, simply and absolutely?”
“You may surely do without this. I have sworn enough already twice. All the clergy of Rouen and Paris cannot condemn me if it be not law. Of my coming into France I will speak the truth willingly; but I will not say all: the space of eight days would not suffice.”
“Take the advice of the Assessors, whether you should swear or not.”
“Of my coming I will willingly speak truth, but not of the rest; speak no more of it to me.”
“You render yourself liable to suspicion in not being willing to swear to speak the truth absolutely.”
“Speak to me no more of it. Pass on.”
“We again require you to swear, precisely and absolutely.”
“I will say willingly what I know, and yet not all. I am come in God’s name; I have nothing to do here; let me be sent back to God, whence I came.”
“Again we summon and require you to swear, under pain of going forth charged with that which is imputed to you.”
“Pass on.”
“A last time we require you to swear, and urgently admonish you to speak the truth on all that concerns your trial; you expose yourself to a great peril by such a refusal.”
“I am ready to speak truth on what I know touching the trial.”
And in this manner was she sworn.
Then, by Our order, she was questioned by Maître Jean Beaupère, a well-known Doctor, as follows:
“How long is it since you have had food and drink?”
[This fasting suggests an attempt by the questioner to prove that her visions had a more or less physical cause in a weak bodily state resulting from abstinence. Her usual food consisted of a little bread dipped in wine and water, and as she is reported to have had when at home but one meal a day.]

“Since yesterday afternoon.”
“How long is it since you heard your Voices?”
“I heard them yesterday and today.”
“At what hour yesterday did you hear them?”
“Yesterday I heard them three times,-once in the morning, once at Vespers, and again when the Ave Maria rang in the evening. I have even heard them oftener than that.”
“What were you doing yesterday morning when the Voice came to you?”
“I was asleep: the Voice awoke me.”
“Was it by touching you on the arm?”
“It awoke me without touching me.”
“Was it in your room?”
“Not so far as I know, but in the Castle.”
“Did you thank it? and did you go on your knees?”
“I did thank it. I was sitting on the bed; I joined my hands; I implored its help. The Voice said to me: ‘Answer boldly.’ I asked advice as to how I should answer, begging it to entreat for this the counsel of the Lord. The Voice said to me: ‘Answer boldly; God will help thee.’ Before I had prayed it to give me counsel, it said to me several words I could not readily understand. After I was awake, it said to me : ‘Answer boldly.’ ”
[Addressing herself to Us, the said Bishop:] “You say you are my judge. Take care what you are doing; for in truth I am sent by God, and you place yourself in great danger.”
Maître Beaupère, continuing, said: “Has this Voice sometimes varied in its counsel?”
“I have never found it give two contrary opinions. . . . This night again I heard it say: ‘Answer boldly.'”
“Has your Voice forbidden you to say everything on what you are asked?”
“I will not answer you about that. I have revelations touching the King that I will not tell you.”
“Has it forbidden you to tell those revelations?”
“I have not been advised about these things. Give me a delay of fifteen days, and I will answer you. If my Voice has forbidden me, what would you say about it? Believe me, it is not men who have forbidden me. To-day I will not answer: I do not know if I ought, or not; it has not been revealed to me. But as firmly as I believe in the Christian Faith and that God has redeemed us from the pains of Hell, that Voice had come to me from God and by His Command.”
“The Voice that you say appears to you, does it come directly from an Angel, or directly from God; or does it come from one of the Saints?”
“The Voice comes to me from God; and I do not tell you all I know about it: I have far greater fear of doing wrong in saying to you things that would displease it, than I have of answering you. As to this question, I beg you to grant me delay.”
“Is it displeasing to God to speak the truth?”
“My Voices have entrusted to me certain things to tell to the King, not to you. This very night they told me many things for the welfare of my King, which I would he might know at once, even if I should drink no wine until Easter: the King would be the more joyful at his dinner!”
“Can you not so deal with your Voices that they will convey this news to your King?”
“I know not if the Voice would obey, and if it be God’s Will. If it please God, He will know how to reveal it to the King, and I shall be well content.”
“Why does not this Voice speak any more to your King, as it did when you were in his presence?”
“I do not know if it be the Will of God. Without the grace of God I should not know how to do anything.”
“Has your counsel revealed to you that you will escape from prison?”
“I have nothing to tell you about that.”
“This night, did your Voice give you counsel and advice as to what you should answer?”
“If it did give me advice and counsel thereon, I did not understand.”
“The last two occasions on which you have heard this Voice, did a light come with it ?”
“The light comes at the same time as the Voice.”
“Besides the Voice, do you see anything?”
“I will not tell you all; I have not leave; my oath does not touch on that. My Voice is good and to be honored. I am not bound to answer you about it. I request that the points on which I do not now answer may be given me in writing.”
“The Voice from whom you ask counsel, has it a face and eyes?”
“You shall not know yet. There is a saying among children, that ‘Sometimes one is hanged for speaking the truth.'”
“Do you know if you are in the grace of God?”
“If I am not, may God place me there; if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest in all the world if I knew that I were not in the grace of God. But if I were in a state of sin, do you think the Voice would come to me? I would that everyone could hear the Voice as I hear it. I think I was about thirteen when it came to me for the first time.”
Shrine of Joan of Arc in Notre-Dame de Reims

“In your youth, did you play in the fields with the other children?”
“I certainly went sometimes, I do not know at what age.”
“Do the Domremy people side with the Burgundians or with the opposite party?”
“I knew only one Burgundian at Domremy: I should have been quite willing for them to cut off his head – always had it pleased God.”
“The Maxey people, were they Burgundians, or opposed to the Burgundians?”
“They were Burgundians. As soon as I knew that my Voices were for the King of France, I loved the Burgundians no more. The Burgundians will have war unless they do what they ought; I know it by my Voice. The English were already in France when my Voices began to come to me. I do not remember being with the children of Domremy when they went to fight against those of Maxey for the French side : but I certainly saw the Domremy children who had fought with those of Maxey coming back many times, wounded and bleeding.”
“Had you in your youth any intention of fighting the Burgundians?”
“I had a great will and desire that my King should have his own Kingdom.”
“When you had to come into France, did you wish to be a man?”
” I have answered this elsewhere.”
“Did you not take the animals to the fields?”
“I have already answered this also. When I was bigger and had come to years of discretion, I did not look after them generally; but I helped to take them to the meadows and to a Castle called the Island, for fear of the soldiers. I do not remember if I led them in my childhood or not.”
“What have you to say about a certain tree which is near to your village ?”
“Not far from Domremy there is a tree that they call ‘The Ladies’ Tree ‘-others call it ‘The Fairies’ Tree’; near by, there is a spring where people sick of the fever come to drink, as I have heard, and to seek water to restore their health. I have seen them myself come thus; but I do not know if they were healed. I have heard that the sick, once cured, come to this tree to walk about. It is a beautiful tree, a beech, from which comes the ‘beau may.’ It belongs to the Seigneur Pierre de Bourlement, Knight. I have sometimes been to play with the young girls, to make garlands for Our Lady of Domremy. Often I have heard the old folk – they are not of my lineage – say that the fairies haunt this tree. I have also heard one of my Godmothers, named Jeanne, wife of the Marie Aubery of Domremy, say that she has seen fairies there; whether it be true, I do not know. As for me, I never saw them that I know of. If I saw them anywhere else, I do not know. I have seen the young girls putting garlands on the branches of this tree, and I myself have sometimes put them there with my companions; sometimes we took these garlands away, sometimes we left them. Ever since I knew that it was necessary for me to come into France, I have given myself up as little as possible to these games and distractions. Since I was grown up, I do not remember to have danced there. I may have danced there formerly, with the other children. I have sung there more than danced. There is also a wood called the Oak-wood, which can be seen from my father’s door; it is not more than half-a-league away. I do not know, and have never heard if the fairies appear there; but my brother told me that it is said in the neighborhood: ‘Jeannette received her mission at the Fairies’ Tree.’ It is not the case; and I told him the contrary. When I came before the King, several people asked me if there were not in my country a wood, called the Oak-wood, because there were prophecies which said that from the neighborhood of this wood would come a maid who should do marvelous things. I put no faith in that.”
[Merlin had foretold the coming of a maiden out of an oak-wood from Lorraine; and a paper containing a prophecy to this effect had been sent, at the beginning of Joan’s career, to the English Commander, the Earl of Suffolk. There was also an old prophecy (quoted by Joan herself to Catherine Leroyer) that France, which had been “lost by a woman, should be saved by a Maid.” The conduct of Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI, might certainly be said to have fulfilled the first half of this prophecy; and a tradition in the eastern counties that “deliverance should come from a maid of the Marches of Lorraine” must have directed many hopes to the mission of the Maiden from Domremy, though she herself does not seem to have known of the last prediction until sometime later. The oak-wood covers the hills above Domremy to this day.]  
“Would you like to have a woman’s dress?”
“Give me one, and I will take it and begone; otherwise, no. I am content with what I have, since it pleases God that I wear it.”
This done, We stayed the interrogation, and put off the remainder to Tuesday next, on which day We have convoked all the Assessors, at the same place and hour.
For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Second Examination of Joan of Arc- Describes Her Religious Visions



On January 9, 1431, there opened in Rouen before a church tribunal chaired by Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais. It was a “trial in matters of faith” and one which that would lead Joan of Arc the stake on 30 May of the same year.

As we remember Joan was the fifteen year old divine “mad woman” who inspired the French to repel English invaders. She was captured during the siege of Compiègne in 1430. Her subsequent trial for heresy was the documented fully. Of no other trial in the 15th Century do we have a record as accurate and detailed. It is considered one of the most significant and moving trials ever conducted in human history.


SECOND PUBLIC EXAMINATION

Thursday, February 22nd, in the Ornament Room at the end of the Great Hall of the Castle of Rouen.
The Bishop and 48 Assessors Present.
In their presence, We showed that Jean Lemaître, Deputy of the Chief Inquisitor, had been summoned and required by Us to join himself to the present Action, with Our offer of communicating to him all that had been done hitherto or shall be done in the future; but that the said Deputy had replied, that, having been commissioned by the Chief Inquisitor for the City and Diocese of Rouen only, and the actual Process being deduced by Us in a territory which had been ceded to Us by the Metropolitan Chapter, by reason of Our Ordinary Jurisdiction as Bishop of Beauvais, he had thought it right to avoid all nullity and also for the peace of his own conscience, to refuse to join himself with Us, in the quality of Judge, until he should receive from the Chief Inquisitor a Commission and more extended powers: that, nevertheless, he would have no objection to see the trial continue without interruption.
After having heard Us make this narration, the said Deputy, being present, declared, addressing himself to Us, “That which you have just said is true. It has been, as far as in me lies, and still is, agreeable to me that you should continue the Trial.”
Then the said Jeanne was brought before Us.
We warned and required her, on pain of law, to make oath as she had done the day before and to swear simply and absolutely to speak truth on all things in respect of which she should be questioned; to which she answered:
“I swore yesterday: that should be enough.”
Again We required her to swear: we said to her, not even a prince, required to swear in a matter of faith, can refuse.
“I made oath to you yesterday,” she answered, “that should be quite enough for you: you overburden me too much!”
Finally she made oath to speak truth on ‘that which touches the Faith.’
Then Maitre Jean Beaupère, a well-known Professor of Theology, did, by Our order, question the said Jeanne. This he did as follows:
“First of all, I exhort you, as you have so sworn, to tell the truth on what I am about to ask you.”
“You may well ask me some things on which I shall tell you the truth and some on which I shall not tell it you. If you were well informed about me, you would wish to have me out of your hands. I have done nothing except by revelation.”
“How old were you when you left your father’s house?”
“On the subject of my age I cannot vouch.”
“In your youth, did you learn any trade?”
“Yes, I learnt to spin and to sew; in sewing and spinning I fear no woman in Rouen. For dread of the Burgundians, I left my father’s house and went to the town of Neufchateau, in Lorraine, to the house of a woman named La Rousse, where I sojourned about fifteen days. When I was at home with my father, I employed myself with the ordinary cares of the house. I did not go to the fields with the sheep and the other animals. Every year I confessed myself to my own Cure, and, when he was prevented, to another Priest with his permission. Sometimes, also, two or three times, I confessed to the Mendicant Friars; this was at Neufchateau. At Easter I received the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

“Have you received the Sacrament of the Eucharist at any other Feast but Easter?”
“Pass that by [Passez outré]. I was thirteen when I had a Voice from God for my help and guidance. The first time that I heard this Voice, I was very much frightened; it was mid-day, in the summer, in my father’s garden. I had not fasted the day before. I heard this Voice to my right, towards the Church; rarely do I hear it without its being accompanied also by a light. This light comes from the same side as the Voice. Generally it is a great light. Since I came into France I have often heard this Voice.”
“But how could you see this light that you speak of, when the light was at the side?”
To this question she answered nothing, but went on to something else. ” If I were in a wood, I could easily hear the Voice which came to me. It seemed to me to come from lips I should reverence. I believe it was sent me from God. When I heard it for the third time, I recognized that it was the Voice of an Angel. This Voice has always guarded me well, and I have always understood it; it instructed me to be good and to go often to Church; it told me it was necessary for me to come into France. You ask me under what form this Voice appeared to me? You will hear no more of it from me this time. It said to me two or three times a week: ‘You must go into France.’ My father knew nothing of my going. The Voice said to me: ‘Go into France!’ I could stay no longer. It said to me: ‘Go, raise the siege which is being made before the City of Orleans. Go!’ it added, ‘to Robert de Baudricourt, Captain of Vaucouleurs: he will furnish you with an escort to accompany you.’ And I replied that I was but a poor girl, who knew nothing of riding or fighting. I went to my uncle and said that I wished to stay near him for a time. I remained there eight days. I said to him, ‘I must go to Vaucouleurs.’ He took me there. When I arrived, I recognized Robert de Baudricourt, although I had never seen him. I knew him, thanks to my Voice, which made me recognize him. I said to Robert, ‘I must go into France!’ Twice Robert refused to hear me, and repulsed me. The third time, he received me, and furnished me with men; the Voice had told me it would be thus. The Duke of Lorraine gave orders that I should be taken to him. I went there. I told him that I wished to go into France. The Duke asked me questions about his health; but I said of that I knew nothing. I spoke to him little of my journey. I told him he was to send his son with me, together with some people to conduct me to France, and that I would pray to God for his health. I had gone to him with a safe-conduct: from thence I returned to Vaucouleurs. From Vaucouleurs I departed, dressed as a man, armed with a sword given me by Robert de Baudricourt, but without other arms. I had with me a Knight, a Squire, and four servants, with whom I reached the town of Saint Urbain, where I slept in an Abbey. On the way, I passed through Auxerre, where I heard Mass in the principal Church. Thenceforward I often heard my Voices.”
“Who counseled you to take a man’s dress?”
To this question she several times refused to answer. “In the end, she said: “With that I charge no one.”
Many times she varied in her answers to this question. Then she said:
“Robert de Baudricourt made those who went with me swear to conduct me well and safely. ‘Go,’ said Robert de Baudricourt to me, ‘Go! and let come what may!’ I know well that God loves the Duke d’Orleans; I have had more revelations about the Duke d’Orleans than about any man alive, except my King. It was necessary for me to change my woman’s garments for a man’s dress. My counsel thereon said well.
“I sent a letter to the English before Orleans, to make them leave, as may be seen in a copy of my letter which has been read to me in this City of Rouen; there are, nevertheless, two or three words in this copy which were not in my letter. Thus, ‘Surrender to the Maid,’ should be replaced by ‘Surrender to the King.’ The words, ‘body for body’ and ‘chieftain in war’ were not in my letter at all.
“I went without hindrance to the King. Having arrived at the village of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, I sent for the first time to the Castle of Chinon, where the King was. I got there towards mid-day, and lodged first at an inn. After dinner, I went to the King, who was at the Castle. When I entered the room where he was I recognized him among many others by the counsel of my Voice, which revealed him to me. I told him that I wished to go and make war on the English.”

“When the Voice showed you the King, was there any light?”
“Pass on.”
“Did you see an Angel over the King?”
“Spare me. Pass on. Before the King set me to work, he had many apparitions and beautiful revelations.”
“What revelations and apparitions had the King?”
“I will not tell you; it is not yet time to answer you about them; but send to the King, and he will tell you. The Voice had promised me that, as soon I came to the King, he would receive me. Those of my party knew well that the Voice had been sent me from God; they have seen and known this Voice, I am sure of it. My King and many others have also heard and seen the Voices which came to me: there were there Charles de Bourbon and two or three others. There is not a day when I do not hear this Voice; and I have much need of it. But never have I asked of it any recompense but the salvation of my soul. The Voice told me to remain at Saint-Denis, in France; I wished to do so, but, against my will, the Lords made me leave. If I had not been wounded, I should never have left. After having quitted Saint-Denis, I was wounded in the trenches before Paris; but I was cured in five days. It is true that I caused an assault to be made before Paris.”
“Was it a Festival that day?”
“I think it was certainly a Festival.”
“Is it a good thing to make an assault on a Festival?”
“Pass on.”
And as it appeared that enough had been done for today, We have postponed the affair to Saturday next, at 8 o’clock in the morning.
For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst.