Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

The Trial of Joan of Arc
By W.P. Barrett

Chapter 4: Thursday, February 22nd. Second Session

Thursday, February 22nd second session

On Thursday, February 22nd, we entered the Robing Room at the end of the great hall of the castle of Rouen, where there were assembled the reverend fathers, lords, and masters: Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp, Pierre, prior of Longueville, Jean de Châtillon, Jean Beaupère, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Jean de Nibat, Jacques Guesdon, Jean Le Fèvre, Maurice du Quesnay, Guillaume Le Boucher, Pierre Houdenc, Pierre Maurice, Richard Prati and Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology; Nicolas de Jumièges, Guillaume de Ste. Catherine, Guillaume de Cormeilles, abbots; Jean Garin and Raoul Roussel, canons, doctors of canon and civil law; William Haiton, Nicolas Couppequesne, Jean Le Maistre, Richard de Grouchet, Pierre Minier, Jean Pigache, Raoul Le Sauvage, bachelors of sacred theology; Robert Le Barbier, Denis Gastinel, Jean Le Doulx, bachelors of canon and civil law; Jean Basset, Jean de La Fontaine, Jean Bruillot, Aubert Morel, Nicolas de Venderès, Jean Pinchon, Jean Colombel, Laurent Du Bosc, Raoul Anguy, bachelors of canon law; André Marguerie, Jean Alespée, Geoffroy du Crotay, and Gilles Deschamps, licentiates in civil law; the abbot of Préaux, brother Guillaume l'Ermite, Guillaume Desjardins, doctor of medicine, Robert Morellet, and Jean Le Roy, canons of the cathedral of Rouen.

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In their presence we showed that Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, then present, had been summoned and required by us to take part in the present proceedings, and that we had offered to communicate to him all that had been so far or should subsequently be done; but the deputy said that he had been appointed and commissioned by the lord Inquisitor for the city and diocese of Rouen only, whereas we were holding the trial, by reason of our jurisdiction in Beauvais, on ceded territory. Therefore, to avoid the nullification of the trial, and for the peace of his conscience, he put off his participation with us until such time as he should receive a fuller counsel and should have from the lord Inquisitor more extended power or a commission; in the meantime the said deputy, as far as he might, would be pleased to see us proceed further and without interruption with the trial. When he heard our account, the deputy answered, saying: "What you have said is true. I have been and I am, as far as in me lies, content that you should continue the trial."

The said Jeanne was then brought before us there, and we admonished and required her, under penalty of law, to take the oath that she had taken the day before; and to swear to speak the truth, absolutely and simply, on everything which she was asked in the respect of the matter of which she was accused and defamed. To which she replied that she had taken an oath yesterday, and that should suffice.

Then we required her to swear; for none, not even a prince, could refuse to take oath when required in matter of faith. She answered again: "I swore yesterday; that should be quite enough. You overburden me." At last she swore to speak the truth on that which concerned the faith.

Whereupon the distinguished professor of sacred theology, master Jean Beaupère at our order and command questioned the said Jeanne as follows:

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And first he exhorted her to answer truly, as she had sworn, what he should ask her. To which she replied: "You may well ask me such things, that to some I shall answer truly, and to others I shall not." And she added, "If you were well informed about me, you would wish me to be out of your hands. I have done nothing except by revelation."

Asked how old she was when she left her father's house, she said she could not vouch for her age.

Asked if in her youth she had learned any craft, she said yes, to sew and spin: and in sewing and spinning, she feared no woman in Rouen. And moreover she confessed that for dread of the Burgundians she left her father's house and went to the town of Neufchâteau, in Lorraine, to the house of a certain woman called La Rousse, where she stayed about a fortnight. She added too, that as long as she was at home with her father, she saw to the ordinary domestic tasks; and that she did not go to the fields to look after the sheep and other animals.

Asked if she confessed her sins once a year, she said yes, to her own cure; and when he was prevented, she confessed to another priest, with his permission. Sometimes, too, twice or thrice perhaps, she confessed to mendicant friars: but that was in the town of Neufchâteau. And she received the sacrament of the Eucharist at Easter.

Asked if, at other feasts than Easter, she received the said sacrament of the Eucharist, she told the interrogator to continue to the next question. Afterwards she declared that at the age of thirteen she had a voice from God to help her and guide her. And the first time she was much afraid. And this voice came towards noon, in summer, in her father's garden: and the said Jeanne had [not] fasted on the preceding day. She heard the voice on her right, in the direction of the church; and she seldom heard it without a light. This light

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came from the same side as the voice, and generally there was a great light. When she came to France she often heard the voice.

Asked how she could see the light of which she spoke, since it was at the side, she made no reply, and went on to other things. She said that if she was in a wood she easily heard the voices come to her. It seemed to her a worthy voice, and she believed it was sent from God; when she heard the voice a third time she knew that it was the voice of an angel. She said also that this voice always protected her well and that she understood it well.

Asked what instruction this voice gave her for the salvation of her soul: she said it taught her to be good and to go to church often; and it told her that she must come to France. And, Jeanne added, Beaupère would not learn from her, this time, in what form that voice appeared to her. She further said that this voice told her once or twice a week that she should leave and come to France, and that her father knew nothing of her leaving. She said that the voice told her to come, and she could no longer stay where she was; and the voice told her again that she should raise the siege of the city of Orleans. She said moreover that the voice told her that she, Jeanne, should go to Robert de Baudricourt, in the town of Vaucouleurs of which he was captain, and he would provide an escort for her. And the said Jeanne answered that she was a poor maid, knowing nothing of riding or fighting. She said she went to an uncle of hers, and told him she wanted to stay with him for some time; and she stayed there about eight days. And she told her uncle she must go to the said town of Vaucouleurs, and so her uncle took her.

Then she said that when she reached Vaucouleurs she easily recognized Robert de Baudricourt, although she had never seen him before; and she knew him through her voice, for

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the voice had told her it was he. And the said Jeanne told Robert she must come to France. The said Robert twice refused to hear her and repulsed her; the third time he listened to her and gave her an escort. And the voice had told her that it would be so.

Then she declared that the duke of Lorraine ordered that she should be taken to him; and she went to him and told him she wished to go to France. And the duke questioned her about the recovery of his health; but she said she knew nothing about that; and she spoke to him little concerning her journey. She told the duke nevertheless to send his son and some men to escort her to France, and she would pray to God for his health. She visited him with a safe conduct and returned to the town of Vaucouleurs.

She declared that, on her departure from Vaucouleurs, she wore the habit of a man, and carried a sword which Robert de Baudricourt had given her, but no other arms; and accompanied by a knight, a squire, and four servants, she reached the town of Saint Urbain, where she slept in an abbey.

She said that on her journey she passed through Auxerre, and she heard Mass in the principal church there; and from that time she frequently heard her voices, including the one already mentioned.

Required to say by what advice she took to man's dress, she several times refused to answer. Finally she answered that she charged no one with that; and several times she answered variously.

She said that Robert de Baudricourt had sworn those who accompanied her to conduct her well and safely. "Go," said Robert to Jeanne, as she departed, "Go, and come what may."

Jeanne said furthermore that she knows very well that God loves the duke of Orleans; and so she had more revelations concerning him than any man alive, except him whom she

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calls her king. She said also that it was altogether necessary to change her women's clothes for men's. She believed that her counsel said well.

She said that she sent to the English at Orleans letters telling them to depart, as shown in the copy of the letters which had been read to her in this town of Rouen, except two or three words in the copy: for example, where in this copy it read Surrender to the Maid it should read Surrender to the King. There are also these words, body for body and chieftain of war, which were not in the original letters.

After this the said Jeanne told that she went without hindrance to him whom she calls her king. And when she had arrived at Ste. Catherine de Fierbois, then she sent first to Chinon, where he who she calls her king was. She reached Chinon towards noon and lodged at an inn; and after dinner she went to him whom she calls king, who was at the castle. She said that when she entered her king's room she recognized him among many others by the counsel of her voice, which revealed him to her. She told him she wanted to make war on the English.

Asked whether, when the voice showed her her king, there was no light, she answered: "Pass on to the next question." Asked if she saw no angel above the king, she answered: "Spare me that. Continue." She said also that before the king put her to work he had several apparitions and beautiful revelations.

Asked what revelations and apparitions the king had, she answered: "I will not tell you. It is not now the time to tell you; but send to the king and he will tell you."

Then Jeanne said that her voice had promised her that as soon as she should come to the king he would receive her. She said also that those of her party knew well that the voice was sent to Jeanne from God, and they saw and knew this

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voice. She said further that her king and several others heard and saw the voices which came to the said Jeanne; and there were present Charles de Bourbon, and two or three others.

Then Jeanne said that there is not a day when she does not hear this voice; and she has much need of it. She said she never asked of it any final reward but the salvation of her soul. The voice told her to remain at Saint-Denis in France, and the said Jeanne wished to remain; but against her will the lords took her away. However, if she had not been wounded, she would not have left; she was wounded in the trenches before Paris, after she left Saint-Denis; but recovered in five days. Further she confessed that she caused an assault to be made before Paris.

And when she was asked if that day were a feast day, she answered she thought it certainly was.

Asked if she thought it was a good thing to do, she answered: "Pass on." When this was over, as it appeared to us sufficient for one day, we postponed the affair until the following Saturday, at eight o'clock in the morning.

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