Death Sentence for Joan of Arc
On Wednesday May 30th 1431, around nine in the morning Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) was taken to the old market in Rouen and in the presence of her judges and the public the following death sentence was read aloud as follows:
"In the Name of the Lord: Amen.
At all times when the poisoned virus of heresy attaches itself with persistence to a member of the Church and transforms him into a member of Satan, extreme care should be taken to watch that the horrible contagion of this pernicious leprosy do not gain other parts of the mystic Body of Christ. The decisions of the holy Fathers have willed that hardened heretics should be separated from the midst of the just, so that to the great peril of others this homicidal viper should not be warmed in the bosom of pious Mother Church. It is for this that We, Pierre, by the Divine Mercy, Bishop of Beauvais, and We, Brother Jean Lemaître, Deputy of the renowned Doctor, Jean Graverend, Inquisitor of the Evil of Heresy, specially delegated by him for this Process, both judges competent,in this Trial, already, by a just judgment, have declared this woman fallen into divers errors and divers crimes of schism, idolatry, invocation of demons and many others. But because the Church closes not her bosom to the child who returns to her, we did think that, with a pure spirit and a faith unfeigned, you had put far from you your errors and your crimes, considering that on a certain day you did renounce them and did publicly swear, vow, and promise
never to return to your errors and heresies, to resist all temptations, and to remain faithfully attached to the unity of the Catholic Church and the communion of the Roman Pontiff, as is proved at greater length in a writing signed by your own hand. But after this abjuration of your errors, the Author of Schism and Heresy has arisen in your heart, which he has once more seduced, and it has become manifest by your spontaneous confessions and assertions---O, shame!---that, as the dog returns again to his vomit, so have you returned to your errors and crimes; and it has been proved to us in a most certain manner that you have renounced your guilty inventions and your errors only in a lying manner, not in a sincere and faithful spirit. For these causes, declaring you fallen again into your old errors, and under the sentence of excommunication which you have formerly incurred, WE DECREE THAT YOU ARE A RELAPSED HERETIC, by our present sentence which, seated in tribunal, we utter and pronounce in this writing; we denounce you as a rotten member, and that you may not vitiate others, as cast out from the unity of the Church, separate from her Body, abandoned to the secular power as, indeed, by these presents, we do cast you off,
separate and abandon you;---praying this same secular power, so far as concerns death and the mutilation of the limbs, to moderate its judgment towards you, and, if true signs of penitence should appear in you, [to permit] that the Sacrament of Penance be administered to you."