Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Chapter 21


AFTER two days' interval, on February 27 Joan was brought into court for the fourth time. There was the usual fruitless wrangle over the form of her oath, and then Beaupère asked about her health during the last three days, perhaps because he hoped that her obstinacy was weakening under the constant strain, perhaps because he was afraid that she would break down entirely, and die unconvicted on his hands, an end of the proceedings most undesirable. With natural impatience Joan answered, "You can see for yourself how I am; I am as well as I can be."

The examiner then spent some time in a vain attempt to discover precisely how Joan's voices appeared to her. At length, when he asked whether the voice was that of an angel, of a saint, or of God himself, Joan yielded. so far as to tell him that the voices were those of St. Catherine and St. Margaret. "And their faces were crowned with beautiful crowns, very rich and precious," she added. "This much I have God's leave to tell you. If you doubt what I say, send to Poitiers, where I have been examined already."

At once Beaupère began a series of questions which seemed to Joan utterly trivial: did the saints speak one after another, or both at once; how did Joan know them apart; did they wear the same sort of clothes; were they of the same age? Sometimes Joan referred him to her vexamination at Poitiers, sometimes she said that she had not leave to answer him. Probably she knew little of the petty matters which he asked her about; once, when he spoke of St. Michael's voice, she replied, "I said nothing to you about his voice. I spoke of the great comfort he had given me."

Beaupère asked if there had been an angel above Charles's head when she first saw the king at Chinon. Joan lost her patience: "By the blessed Mary, I don't know if he was there," she said. "I did not see him." "Was there a light?" asked the doctor. "There were more than three hundred soldiers, and about fifty torches," Joan answered, "and that without counting the spiritual light. Rarely do I have revelations without light," she added.

By the examiner's request she told the story of the sword found at St. Catherine of Fierbois. She had not caused it to be blessed, she said, nor had she laid it upon the altar to make it lucky. Had she prayed that it might be lucky, asked the persistent Beaupère. "Most certainly I wished my arms to be lucky," she answered. After giving a full description of her banner, she was questioned about the relief of Orleans, and especially if she had promised her soldiers that she herself would receive all the arrows, bolts, cannon balls, and so forth, which might be aimed at them. "Certainly not," she answered. "In fact, more than a hundred of them were hurt; but I did tell them not to doubt, and that they should raise the siege. In attacking the fort near the bridge I myself was wounded; but I had great comfort from St. Catherine, and was cured within a fortnight, and I did not have to give up riding and attending to business."

On March 1 and 3 the examination was continued in much the same fashion. Again and again the examiner asked his questions about the voices: did they wear their hair long, did they have arms and legs, did they wear earrings, and did St. Michael wear a crown and carry a pair of scales? "I have told you what I know," Joan said, "and I will answer you no further. I have seen St. Michael and the other saints quite well enough to know that they are really saints in paradise." The examiner inquired if St. Margaret spoke English. "Why should she," asked Joan, in return, "since she is not of the English party?""Was St. Michael naked?" "Do you think that God has not wherewith to clothe him?" Joan answered. "Did he have hair?" continued the undaunted doctor. "Why should it have been cut off?" Joan replied, not thinking the question deserved a serious answer; but, when Beaupère insisted on finding out the condition of the archangel's head, Joan told him that she knew nothing about it.

What promises had the voices made to her, inquired Beaupère; knowing that Satan is in the habit of making large promises to his votaries. "They promised that my king should receive his kingdom, whether his enemies would or no, and that they would guide me to paradise, as I begged them to do." The answer was disappointing, and Beaupère asked if no other promise had been given; Joan admitted that there had been another, which she would tell within three months. Did they promise you that within three months you should be released? "I do not know when I shall be released," said the girl; "but they who wish to put me out of the world may well leave it before me." The examiner pressed to know if a definite promise of release had been given. "That does not concern your case," Joan answered. "Do you wish me to give evidence against myself?" At length she admitted that the voices had promised her freedom, though she knew neither the day nor the hour of it; "and they have bidden me to be bold and put on a cheerful face," she added. "I should have died if it had not been for the revelation which comforts me daily."

They tried to show that Joan used magic charms, and especially the herb mandragora. She answered simply that she had heard it existed in the neighborhood of Domremy, and was a thing dangerous to keep, though sometimes used to get money. She herself had no belief in it and never had used it, nor had her voices said anything to her about it. Beaupère asked if prayers and masses had not been said in her honor. Joan replied that she knew nothing about this, and that no service had been said at her bidding, but if people had prayed for her, it seemed to her that they had not done ill. "Do the people of your party believe firmly that you are sent by God?" she was asked. "I do not know if they believe it. I leave that to their own minds; but, even if they do not believe it, yet I am sent by God.""In believing that you are sent by God, do you think they hold a true belief?" asked the pertinacious doctor. "If they believe that I am sent by God, they are not deceived," she answered.

Pursuing his theory of magic, Beaupère reached the case of the child brought back to life at Lagny; and Joan's answer is given as an example of the clearness and freedom with which she answered all ordinary questions. "The child was three days old and was brought to our Lady at Lagny. I was told that the maids of the town were before our Lady, and I wished to go there and pray God and our Lady to bring the child back to life, so I went and prayed with the others. At last, life appeared in him and he yawned three times; then he was baptized, and soon afterwards he died and was buried in consecrated ground. For three days, they said, he had shown no signs of life, and he was as black as my coat, but when he yawned, his color began to come back. I was with the maids on my knees before our Lady in prayer.""Was it not said in the town that you had brought the child back to life, and that it happened on account of your prayers?" inquired Beaupère. "I never asked about that," Joan answered. In the same simple fashion and with a good deal of quiet humor, Joan described her meetings with Friar Richard and Catherine of La Rochelle.

Several times, in his incoherent examination, Beaupère asked about her dress, and almost always she tried to evade his questions. It was a small matter, she said, and she held no man responsible for it; if her voices had ordered her to put on another dress, she would have done so. When asked if she thought she would commit mortal sill if she should put on women's clothes, she answered that it was better to obey and serve her sovereign lord, that is, God. In truth, she was too modest to say to her judges that she felt safer when dressed as a man, and it is probable that, even in her own mind, she did not altogether separate the direct commands of her voices and the measures of ordinary prudence which she believed them to approve.

At the close of the sixth day of Joan's examination, Cauchon told the assessors that he proposed to appoint a committee to make a digest or synopsis of the answers which she had already given. If it should appear necessary to examine her further, he did not intend to vex the whole body of them by requiring their attendance in court, but would appoint another committee to conduct the second examination, the result of which should be submitted to all the assessors in writing. For six days in succession the first mentioned committee worked over the minutes of the evidence, and prepared a list of subjects on which Joan should be questioned further.

The subjects thus selected are known only from the course of the second examination, which was quite as incoherent as the first. If we consider, however, the suspicions with which the judges entered upon the trial, and the causes of complaint against Joan which they then believed themselves to have, we shall see that the prosecution had not yet made out a case as strong as that expected from it. Cauchon had decided to call no witness but Joan herself; the depositions taken elsewhere were to be used only as suggestions to the prosecuting attorney, and Joan's guilt was to be proved by her testimony alone. But the testimony which Joan had given, even if it did not show that she was innocent, at least had failed to establish her guilt. It was possible to believe that the voices which spoke to her were those of devils, but the likelihood of their being angelic or saintly had been in- creased by her story. On some minor matters of accusation, such as the use of magic and the receiving of idolatrous worship, the prosecution had failed utterly, and its failure in these lesser things had made less probable the principal charge.

The testimony had had its effect upon those who heard it, or at least upon some of them. At the beginning of the trial it is probable that all the assessors were more or less prejudiced against Joan, but among them were several fair-minded men, who really wished to render an impartial judgment. These men had been influenced by Joan's testimony and bearing, and two or three of them spoke their minds to their friends or in public. One could see no great harm in Joan; another said that, if her answers had been but very slightly different, she would have cleared herself altogether. Even the sergeant, who led Joan from the prison to the court-room, told an acquaintance that nothing discreditable had yet appeared in her, though God only knew how she would hold out to the end. Cauchon reproved the man severely and spoke harshly to the assessors, but their remarks were the common gossip of Rouen; the English became alarmed and angry, and the bishop perceived that his method of procedure must be changed. It was not easy to stop the mouths of half a hundred ecclesiastics, many of them men of distinction and of some independence.

For these considerations, rather than from a kindly regard for the convenience of his colleagues, Cauchon proposed thereafter to examine Joan in presence of a small committee, the members of which he could select. Furthermore, instead of holding his court in a room to which some outsiders may have had access, he determined to go to Joan's cell. By this means he not only secured a retired place for his proceedings, so small that it was impossible to gather there more than eight or ten persons, but he also deprived Joan of the relief she had gained from the change of scene and the exercise of moving from her cell to the court-room. On March 10 he went to the tower, accompanied by Midi and Feuillet, delegates of the University of Paris, upon whom he could rely; there were present, besides, only his commissary, another lawyer, the sergeant, and the notaries. In place of Beaupère, La Fontaine the commissary acted as examiner.

He first asked Joan about her capture before Compiègne, and attempted to show that her voices must have come from the Devil, because they had betrayed her to her enemies. Joan answered, however, that her voices had foretold her capture for weeks, though she had not known precisely when it would happen. After touching upon one or two other matters, La Fontaine began to ask about the sign which Joan had given to Charles VII.

At an earlier examination, as has been said already, Joan had begun to play upon words, and to make an allegory of her coming to Charles, in which she took the part of an angel bringing him a sign. The counsel of her voices to answer boldly, her sense of humor, tickled by the gravity with which her examiners asked their stupid questions and misunderstood her figurative answers, and her firm belief that she had been really God's messenger to give a kingdom to her king, all made her persist in the mystification. If her conduct in so dangerous a situation seems to us frivolous, we must bear in mind that, ordinarily, she was without the sense of fear. At Beaurevoir, indeed, she had been afraid of falling into the hands of the English; but she recognized with shame that this fear had led her into sin, indeed had almost been a sin in itself, inasmuch as it had implied a distrust of her heavenly voices. This sin she would not commit again; her voices were continually telling her to be bold, and she was bold. No doubt she expected them in some way or other to deliver her from prison, though she did not know how. Sometimes she partly realized her situation, but during the first part of the trial, at any rate, she was almost sure of escape.

When, therefore, La Fontaine asked her what was the sign she had given to the king, she replied that it was fair and honorable, trustworthy and good, the richest thing that could be. "Does it still remain in existence?" inquired La Fontaine. "Surely it does," Joan answered, "and it will last for a thousand years and more.""Is it gold or silver, a precious stone or a crown?" asked the examiner. "I will tell you no more," said Joan. "Man could not imagine anything so rich as the sign. For you the sign most needed is that God should deliver me out of your hands, and that is the surest sign He can send you." La Fontaine asked if she had made obeisance to the sign. Joan answered that she had gone down upon her knees many times, and had thanked God for freeing her from the vexations of the clergy. When the king and those who were with him had seen the sign and the angel who brought it, she had asked the king if he was satisfied, and he had answered yes. For love of her, and that people might stop asking her questions, God had been willing that the men of her party should see the sign. In some of her answers, as they are reported, it is not easy to discover the allegorical sense, but the notaries had no idea what she meant, and, though quite honest, they may not have taken down the exact words upon which her double meaning depended.

On February 22, as has been said, Cauchon had written to the inquisitor-general asking that the Holy Office take part in Joan's trial. Unable to be present himself, on March 12 Graverent sent a commission which removed completely the legal scruples of his vicar Le- maître, and gave him full authority to act in the matter. Lemaître, however, seems to have done no more than was necessary. He had the right to appoint his own prose- cuting attorney and sergeant, but, in order to avoid the responsibility of choice, he commissioned as officials of the Inquisition Estivet and Massieu, who had already been appointed by Cauchon. He himself sat silent be- side Cauchon, and brought with him a Dominican friar, Isambard of La Pierre, who soon began to sympathize with Joan.

Between Monday, March 12, and Saturday, March 18, the court sat eight times, always in Joan's cell, twice each on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, once each on Tuesday and Thursday. Six or eight persons only were present; all picked men upon whom Cauchon thought he could rely. The exam- ination, conducted mostly by La Fontaine, was as incoherent as ever. The questions shifted from one part of the case to another and back again, perhaps to bewilder Joan, perhaps because at his own want of success the examiner himself was perplexed. To avoid utter confu- sion, some of Joan's answers, gathered from these eight sittings, are grouped together.

Over and over again, probably with a real curiosity, her examiners tried to find out what was the sign she had shown to the king, and, under their minute questioning, Joan was forced to make her allegory more and more elaborate. "Did the angel come down from on high, or did he walk along the ground?" she was asked. "He came from on high," Joan answered, "that is, he came by the command of our Lord; he came into the room through the door." The examiners inquired what the angel did after he had entered the room. "He made obeisance to the king," said Joan, "and called to remembrance the noble patience the king had shown under the great tribulations which had befallen him.""Where did the angel first appear to you?" asked the examiner. "I was almost always praying that God would send the sign to the king, and I was in my lodgings with a good woman, near the castle, when the angel came; then we went together to the king." The doctor inquired if God had sent his angel to her on account of her own merit. Joan replied that he had come for a weighty cause, hoping that the king would believe the sign, and that men would cease to dispute with her; also to bring help to the people of Orleans, and for the merit of the king and of the duke of Orleans. "Why, then, did the angel come to you?" said her questioner. "Because it pleased God," Joan answered, "to overthrow the king's enemies by a simple maid."

The like minute inquiry was made concerning the appearance of St. Michael, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine. In what she said about the saints, Joan intended no allegory, but she described them with great reserve, partly because she was not ready to tell everything she had seen, and partly because, from the nature of the revelation, she knew little of their bodily appearance. She knew the archangel, she said, by his speech. Suppose the Enemy took the appearance of an angel, how would she know him from a real one, asked her questioner. Joan was sure that she could tell the difference between a true angel and a false one, though, when St. Michael had first visited her, she had been doubtful and very fearful. The examiner wished to know how she was able to recognize the angel after several appearances better than at first. Joan answered that she knew him by his teaching. "What did he teach?" asked La Fontaine. "Above all, he taught me to be a good child," said Joan, "and that God would help me; among other things he bade me go to help the king of France, and he told me of the great distress of the kingdom."

Despite their former failure, the examiners again tried to prove that Joan had practiced magic and had used talismans. She had told them that she loved her banner far better than her sword, and upon her banner they pitched, asking why she had emblazoned it in the fashion she described, who were the angels thereon represented, and why there were two angels, neither less nor more.

Joan was impatient of questions like these, and she an- swered shortly that her voices had told her to take the banner in the name of the King of Heaven. Did she pray that she might gain all her battles by virtue of her banner, asked the examiner. Joan replied that her voices bade her take the banner boldly, and promised that God would help her. The persistent La Fontaine then in- quired which had been most efficacious in winning the victory, the banner or herself. "All depended upon our Lord," said Joan. "Did your hope of victory rest upon your banner or upon yourself?""It rested upon our Lord and nowhere else.""If another hand had carried the banner, would it have been as lucky as it was when you carried it?""I know nothing about that; I leave it to God.""If one of your men had lent you his banner, and you had carried it, would you have had as good hope in it as in the banner which was commanded by God?-- suppose, for example, it had been the royal standard." "I was more willing to carry the banner commanded me by our Lord, but I left everything altogether to our Lord." "Why was your banner displayed in the cathedral of Rheims, at the king's consecration, rather than the ban- ners of the other captains?" asked the judge. "It had shared the trial," Joan answered; "that was good reason for its sharing the honor."

The common belief of the Middle Ages attributed a mystic virtue to maidenhood, and Joan had called herself the Maid. If her strength was not to be found in her banner, perhaps it depended upon her virginity. The examiner asked accordingly if she knew by revelation that in losing her virginity she would lose her good luck and would no longer be visited by her voices. 1 With all her frankness, Joan seems in such matters to have been much more shamefaced and modest of speech than was common among women of her time. "That has not been revealed to me," she said. "If you were married, do you believe that your voices would not come to you?" continued her questioner. "I do not know," she answered, "and leave that to our Lord."

Aside from these serious matters, the judges often resorted to mere catch questions. "Do you know if St. Catherine and St. Margaret hate the English?" asked La Fontaine. "They love what our Lord loves, and they hate what God hates," Joan answered. "Does God hate the English?" the examiner then asked. "As for God's love or hatred of the English, and as for what he will do to their souls, I know nothing," said Joan; "but I know well that they shall be driven out of France, all except those who die there, and that God will send victory to the French over the English.""Was God for the English while they prospered in France?" continued the wily priest. Joan replied that she did not know if God hated the French, but she believed that He was willing to let them be beaten for their sins, if they had committed any. Afterwards, on the same day, the examiner, having put the questions about her marriage already mentioned, suddenly asked if she firmly believed that her king had done well to kill the duke of Burgundy. As Charles did not openly confess his share in the murder, though he was generally believed to be guilty, La Fontaine was begging the question, but Joan did not stop to dispute the fact. She answered that the duke's killing had been a great injury to the kingdom of France, but that, however matters might stand between the two men, God had sent her to the succor of the king of France.

Though the examiners had had scant success in some of the matters just mentioned, yet there were others wherein Joan's sins seemed more evident. Inasmuch as one ought to honor father and mother, had she done right, asked La Fontaine, to leave her home without their knowledge. Joan answered that she had obeyed her parents in all things except in the matter of leaving them, and that afterwards she had written to them and they had forgiven her. Forgiveness after the fact was not enough for the doctor, and he inquired if, at the time she was leaving her parents, she thought she was not doing wrong. "Since God ordered it," said Joan, "it ought to have been done. Since God ordered it, though I had had a hundred fathers and mothers, even though I had been a king's daughter, still I would have left them."

In jumping from the tower at Beaurevoir, Joan admitted that she had taken her life in her hand, and had disobeyed her voices. The judges made the most of this sin, but they could get out of Joan nothing more than a frank confession of it. La Fontaine asked if she had done severe penance therefor. Joan answered that she had done a large part of the penance in suffering the pain which the fall had caused her. "In taking the leap, do you believe that you committed mortal sin?" inquired the doctor. "I know nothing of that," said Joan, "but leave it to our Lord."

Again and again the examiners returned to Joan's dress, inasmuch as it seemed to them continuous and defiant transgression. Her shamefacedness, already spoken of, kept her from telling them the whole truth, though her meaning must at times have been pretty clear. "Did your voices command you to wear men's clothes?" she was asked. "All the good that I have done, I have done at the bidding of my voices," she replied, thus evading the answer that her voices had directly commanded her dress, which probably was not true. "In wearing men's dress, did you think you were doing wrong?" was the next question. "No," said Joan, "and even now if I were with the other side, in this very man's dress, it seems to me that it would be a very good thing for France to do as I did before I was taken prisoner." On no account, she said, would she swear not to bear arms and dress like a man in order to do our Lord's pleasure.

Taking advantage of her wish to hear mass, they asked if it did not seem to her more fitting that she should hear it in women's clothes. Which did she prefer, they continued, to put on women's clothes and hear mass, or to keep her men's clothes and not hear mass. "Promise me that I shall hear mass, if I am dressed like a woman, and I will answer you," said Joan. "I promise you," said the examiner. Joan feared a trick, and wavered for an instant. "And what would you say if I had sworn to our king that I would not change my dress? However, I will tell you this. Make me a long dress reaching to the ground, without a train, and let me wear it to mass, and then after I come back I will put these clothes on again." Joan's offer did not satisfy the examiner, who probably hoped to twist her change of dress into a confession of sin, and he insisted that she should put on women's clothes without conditions. This, of course, she would not do. "Give me a dress like that of a burgher's daughter," she said; "a long cloak and a woman's hood, and I will put it on to go and hear mass." Immediately afterwards, however, she begged to hear mass dressed as she was, and for the time the examiner dropped the subject. At a later hearing, when Joan began to realize the possibility of condemnation, she herself begged the churchmen present that if she must be stripped for execution they would grant her the favor of a woman's smock and kerchief. "If you wear men's clothes at God's bidding, why at the point of death do you ask for a woman's smock?" inquired the examiner. "If it is long, it will be sufficient," said Joan, whose modesty would let her say no more.

Throughout her trial, Joan's answers regarding her dress show that she was not quite sure what she ought to do. For the accomplishment of her divine mission, man's dress was fitting and almost necessary; in this sense it was worn by God's command, though probably her voices had given her no direct commandment to wear it. Against the brutality of her keepers it gave her some protection. So long as she was a prisoner, however, her mission was suspended, and, if she was willing to take the risk of ill treatment, there might seem no positive sin in changing her dress in order to hear mass or to humor her judges. She was deterred chiefly by another consideration. Though her dress was not directly of divine appointment, though it was in itself a small thing, as she recognized, yet in the minds of her judges, and of nearly all men, it was so closely connected with her mission that to give up one appeared to be the denial of the other. The sensitive fear lest she should seem disloyal to God made her hesitate to do that which was otherwise indifferent, and it explains much of her conduct in the last part of the trial.

Like the belief of all who think themselves inspired, Joan's absolute dependence upon God seemed to savor both of fatalism and presumption. "Since your voices tell you that you will come at last into the realm of paradise, are you assured that you will be saved, and not damned in hell?" asked the examiner. Joan answered that she believed the promise of salvation made her by her voices as firmly as if she were already in heaven. "That is a weighty answer," said La Fontaine. Joan replied that she held it to be a great treasure. "After this revelation, do you think that you cannot commit mortal sin?" insinuated the examiner. "I know nothing about that," said Joan, "but I leave it altogether to our Lord."

Even if every other device failed, there was one trap into which Joan was sure to fall. It was the last resort of the examiners, and they made use of it with considerable skill. Joan had asserted that she was God's messenger, commissioned by Him through the voice of saints and angels. It was possible, to say the least, that her inspiration was from the Devil. Was she willing to leave the decision of the question to the church? If she refused submission, her guilt was established, for to deny the authority of the church was at once the commonest and the deadliest of heresies. If she submitted, then the ecclesiastical tribunal before which she stood was ready to assume the functions of the church, and to decide the question against her.

In her religious belief, Joan was a devout Catholic of the fifteenth century, holding heartily and without question all the doctrines of the church. From the least taint of Protestantism in any form, of the doctrines of Huss or Wiclif, she was absolutely free; indeed, she seems to have regarded the Hussites with most orthodox abhorrence. The supreme authority of the church she doubted no more than she doubted the heavenly nature of her visitors. Of both she was absolutely sure, and, for a time at least, she could see no difficulty in her assurance of them both. The difficulty existed, however, and her judges made the most of it. She ought to allow the church, they told her, to decide if she had offended against the true faith. Joan replied by asking that her answers should be examined by the clergy, and that these should tell her if there was anything in them contrary to the Christian faith. She for her part would be well advised in the matter by her council, and would tell them what was revealed to her. If she had done anything against the Christian faith, she was very sorry and would not persist in it.

They then explained to her the difference between the church militant and the church triumphant, and asked her if she would allow the church on earth to determine whether she had done well or ill. Suspecting with very good reason that the judges before her claimed the whole authority of the church militant, Joan evaded the question by replying that she would not answer them further for the present.

About an hour afterwards they returned to the attack and asked her abruptly if she would submit her words and acts to the church. "My deeds," Joan answered, "are all in the hands of God, and I leave them to Him. I assure you that I would do or say nothing against the Christian faith. If I had done or said anything, or if I had any charm about me, which the priests could say was against the Christian faith which our Lord has established, I would not hold it, but I would cast it away." The examiner persisted in his question: Would she submit herself to the decree of the church? Again Joan hesitated. "I will not now answer you any further," she said, "but on Saturday send me a priest, if you will not come yourself, and I will answer him with God's help, and it shall be put down in writing."

This happened on Thursday. On Saturday the examiner again repeated his question. As to the church, Joan answered, she loved it and would uphold it with all her might, and she added that she ought not to be kept from going to church or from hearing mass. As for the good deeds she had done, and as for her coming to court, she must leave all to the King of Heaven, who had sent her to Charles, the son of Charles, king of France, who should be king of France himself. "And you will see," she went on, "that the French shall soon gain a great victory, which God shall give them, a victory so great that it will shake almost the whole kingdom of France. When it happens, remember that I told you."

"At what time will it happen?" asked the judge. "I leave that to our Lord," Joan answered.

Again the examiner asked her if she would submit to the decision of the church. "I will submit to our Lord, who sent me," Joan replied, "and to our Lady, and to all the blessed saints in paradise." Our Lord and the church seemed all the same to her, she added, and they ought not to make a difference between the two, and she asked why they tried to make out a difference in that which was all one.

They explained to her the church triumphant,--God, the saints and angels, and the souls in bliss; and the church militant, -- our holy father the pope, God's vicar on earth, the cardinals, bishops, and clergy, and all good catholic Christians, -- which church lawfully assembled cannot err, but is directed by the Holy Ghost. Would she submit herself to the church militant as they explained it to her? "I have come to the king of France by God's command," she answered, "by the command of the Virgin Mary and all the blessed saints in paradise, and by the command of the church victorious on high, and to that church I will submit all my good deeds, and all I have done or have to do. As to submitting to the church militant, I will say nothing more."


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