Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

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

Chapter 7: Saturday, March 3rd. Sixth Session

Saturday, March 3rd. Sixth Session

On the following Saturday, March 3rd, in the aforementioned place the said Jeanne appeared before us in the presence of the reverend fathers, lords and masters: Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp, Pierre, prior of Longueville; Jean de Châtillon, Erard Emengart, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Denis de Sabrevois, Nicolas Lami, Guillaume Evrard, Pierre Maurice, Gerard Feuillet, Maurice du Quesnay, Pierre Houdenc, Jean de Nibat, Jacques Guesdon, doctors of sacred theology; Guillaume, abbot of Ste. Marie de Cormeilles, doctor of canon law; Guillaume Desjardins, Gilles Canivet, Roland L'Escrivain, Guillaume de La Chambre, doctors of medicine; the abbots of St. Georges and of Préaux the prior of St. Lô; also Nicolas Couppequesne, Thomas de Courcelles, Guillaume Le Maistre, Guillaume de Baudribosc, Jean Pigache, Raoul Le Sauvage, Richard de Grouchet, Pierre Minier, bachelors of sacred theology; Jean Le Doulx, bachelor of canon and civil law; Jean Duchemin, Jean Colombel, Raoul Anguy, Aubert Morel, bachelors of canon law; Geoffroy du Crotay, Bureau de Cormeilles, Nicolas Maulin, licentiates in civil law, and Nicolas Loiseleur, canon of the cathedral of Rouen.

In their presence we required the said Jeanne to answer the simple and absolute truth to the questions asked of her: to

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which she replied: "As I did formerly, I am ready to swear." And she swore thus, with her hands on the holy gospels.

Whereupon, because she had said that St. Michael had wings, and yet had said nothing of the body and members of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she was asked what she wished to say in this connection. To which she replied: "I have told you what I know, and I will not answer you further." She said also that she had seen St. Michael and the saints so clearly that she knew they were saints of paradise.

Asked if she saw anything of them besides the face, she answered: "I have told you all that I know about that: and I would rather have you cut my throat than tell you all I know." She said that she would willingly tell everything she knew concerning the trial.

Asked if she believed that St. Michael and St. Gabriel have natural heads, she answered: I saw them with my two eyes, and I believe it was they I saw as firmly as I believe in the existence of God."

Asked if she believed that God created them in the form and fashion that she saw, she answered: "Yes."

Asked if she believed that God from the beginning created them in that form and fashion, she answered: "You will learn no more from me at present than I have told you."

Asked if she had known by revelation whether she would escape, she answered: "That is not in your case. Do you want me to speak against myself?"

Asked if the voices told her anything about it, she answered: "That is not in your case. I refer me to the case. And if everything concerned you, I would tell you everything."

She added that, by her faith, she does not know at what hour or day she will escape.

Asked if the voices had told her anything about it in a general way, she answered: "Yes, indeed, they told me that

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shall be delivered, but I do not know the day or the hour, and that I must boldly show a cheerful countenance before you."

Asked whether when the first time she came before the king he asked her if it was by revelation that she had changed her dress, she answered: "I have answered this before: nevertheless I do not recall whether I was asked. It is written down at Poitiers."

Asked whether the clerks of her own party who examined her, some for the space of a month and others for three weeks, had not questioned her about the changing of her dress, she answered: "I do not recall. But they asked me where I took to a man's dress, and I told them it was at Vaucouleurs."

Asked if the aforesaid masters inquired whether it was through her voices that she had assumed this dress, she answered: "I do not recall."

Asked if the queen did not inquire, at her first visit, about her taking to a man's dress, she answered: "I do not remember."

Asked if her king or queen or other people of her party did not sometimes ask her to put off her man's dress, she answered: "That is not in your case."

Asked whether she was not asked to at the castle of Beaurevoir, she answered: "Yes, truly. And I answered I would not put it off without God's leave."

She said the Demoiselle of Luxembourg and the Lady of Beaurevoir offered her a woman's dress, or the cloth to make one, and told her to wear it; and she replied she had not God's permission, and it was not yet time.

Asked if Messire Jean de Pressy and others at Arras did not offer her a woman's dress, she answered that he and many others had often asked her to wear it.

Asked whether she believed she would have done wrong or committed a mortal sin by taking a woman's dress, she answered

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answered she did better to obey and serve her sovereign Lord, namely God.

She said if she had had to do it she would rather have done so at the request of these two ladies than of any other ladies in France, save her queen.

Asked whether, when God revealed to her that she should change to a man's dress, it was by the voice of St. Michael, or by the voice of St. Catherine or St. Margaret, she answered: "You will learn no more for the present."

Asked whether, when the king first set her to work and she had her standard made, the men-at-arms and others had pennons made in the style of hers, she answered: "It is well to know that the Lords kept their own arms." She added: "Some of my companions in arms had them made at their pleasure; others did not."

Asked of what material they had them made, of linen or cloth, she answered: "It was of white satin, and on some there were fleurs-de-lys." She had only two or three lances in her company, but her companions-at-arms sometimes had pennons made like hers, and did so merely to distinguish their men from others. Asked if the pennons were often renewed, she answered: "I do not know. When the lances were broken, new ones were made."

Asked whether she had sometimes said that the pennons made like hers brought better fortune, she answered that she did sometimes say to her followers: "Go boldly among the English," and she herself would go.

Asked if she told them to bear the pennons boldly, and they would have good fortune, she answered she had indeed told them what had happened and what would happen again.

Asked whether she herself threw or had others throw holy water on the pennons when they were first taken, she answered

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"I do not know anything about that. And if it was done, it was not at my instruction.

Asked if she ever saw holy water sprinkled on them, she answered: "That is not in your case; and if I had seen it done I am not now advised to answer you."

Asked if her companions-at-arms did not have written on their pennons the names Jhesus Maria, she answered: "By my faith, I do not know."

Asked if she herself had borne, or made others bear in procession about an altar or church, cloth which was to be made into pennons, she answered no, nor had she ever seen it done.

Asked what it was she wore at the back of her helmet when she was before the town of Jargeau; and if it was something round, she answered: "By my faith, there was nothing.

Asked if she ever knew brother Richard, she answered: "I had never seen him when I came before Troyes."

Asked what manner of greeting he gave her, she answered that the people of Troyes, she thought, sent him to her, saying that they were afraid she was not a thing sent from God; and when he drew near her, he made the sign of the Cross and sprinkled holy water, and she said to him: "Come boldly, I shall not fly away."

Asked if she had seen or had made any images or pictures of herself or in her likeness, she answered that at Arras she saw a painting in the hands of a Scot; and she was shown in full armor, presenting letters to her king, with one knee on the ground. She said she had never seen or had made any other image or picture in her likeness.

Asked whether at her host's in Orleans there was a painting of three women, with these words Justice, Peace, Union, she answered that she knew nothing of that.

Asked whether she knew that certain of her party had service, Mass and prayers offered in her honor, she answered

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that she knew nothing of it; and if any service was held, it was not at her instruction; but if they prayed for her, she felt they had not done ill.

Asked whether her own party firmly believed her to be sent from God, she answered: "I do not know whether they do, and I refer you to their own opinion; but if they do not, nevertheless I am sent from God." Asked whether she believed that by deeming her to be sent from God they believed rightly, she answered: "If they believe I am sent from God they are not deceived."

Asked if she did not know the feeling of members of her party when they kissed her feet and her hands and her garments, she answered that many came to see her gladly, but they kissed her hands as little as she could help; but the poor folk gladly came to her, for she did them no unkindness, but helped them as much as she could.

Asked what honor the people of Troyes did her when she entered the town, she answered they did her none. She added that she thought brother Richard entered Troyes with her, but she does not remember seeing him enter.

Asked if he preached a sermon when she arrived, she replied that she. scarcely stopped there, and did not sleep at all; and as for the sermon, she knew nothing of it.

Asked whether she spent many days at Reims, she answered: "I think we were there four or five days."

Asked whether she acted as godmother to a child there, she answered that at Troyes she did, to one child; but at Reims she does not recall so doing, nor at Château-Thierry; and at Saint-Denis she was twice godmother. And she gladly gave to the boys the name of Charles, in honor of her king, and to the girls Jeanne; at times she named them as the parents wished.

Asked whether the good wives of the town did not touch

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her ring with their own, she answered that "many women touched my hands and my rings; but I do not know with what thought or intention."

Asked who it was of her company who caught butterflies in her standard before Château-Thierry, she answered that her party had never done that; but the other side invented it.

Asked what she did at Reims with the gloves with which her king was consecrated, she answered that a present of gloves was made to the knights and nobles present; and there was one who lost his gloves; but she did not say she would find them. She added that her standard was in the church at Reims; and she thought that it was fairly near the altar, during the consecration of her king, and she herself bore it for a short time. She does not know whether brother Richard bore it.

Asked whether, when she was going through the country, she often received the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Confession when she was in the good towns, she answered yes, from time to time. Asked whether she received the said sacraments in man's dress, she answered yes, but she does not remember receiving them when she was in armor.

Asked why she took the Bishop of Senlis's hackney, she answered that it was bought for two hundred saluts. Whether he received them or not, she does not know; but there was an arrangement and he was paid. She also wrote to him that he could have the horse back if he wished, she herself did not want it, for it was no good for carrying a load.

Asked how old the child was whom she restored to life at Lagny, she replied that it was three days old, and was brought to Lagny before the image of Our Lady; she was informed that the maidens of the town were also before the image, and she might wish to pray God and the Blessed Virgin to give life to the babe. And then she went and prayed

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with the other maidens, and at last life appeared in the child, which yawned thrice, and was afterwards baptized: and immediately it died and was buried in consecrated ground. Three days had passed, they said, with no sign of life in the child, which was as black as her coat. But when it yawned, the color began to return. And Jeanne was with the maidens, praying on bended knees, before Our Lady.

Asked whether it was said in the town that she had brought about the resuscitation, and that it was due to her prayers, she answered that she did not inquire about it.

Asked whether she knew or had seen Catherine de La Rochelle, she answered yes, at Jargeau and Montfaucon in Berry.

Asked whether Catherine showed her a woman robed in white who she said appeared to her, she answered no.

Asked what Catherine said to her, she answered that Catherine told her that a certain white lady came to her, arrayed in cloth of gold, telling her to go through the good towns with heralds and trumpets which the king would give her, to proclaim that whosoever possessed gold, silver, or hidden treasure should immediately bring it forth; and that she would immediately know those who having any hidden did not bring it forth, and would be easily able to find it; and it should go to the paying of Jeanne's men-at-arms. At which Jeanne replied to Catherine that she should go back to her husband, and look after her household (in French "son mesnage") and care for her children. And to be certain about Catherine, Jeanne spoke of her to St. Catherine or St. Margaret, who said it was mere folly and amounted to nothing. She wrote telling her king what he should do, and when she came to him she said that this question of Catherine was folly and nothing more. Nevertheless brother Richard wanted to set her to work,

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so both brother Richard and Catherine were ill-pleased with Jeanne.

Asked if she spoke to Catherine of going to La Charité-sur-Loire, she answered that the said Catherine did not advise her to go, and it was too cold, and she would not go. She told Catherine, who wished to go to the Duke of Burgundy and make peace, that it seemed to her that peace would not be found, except at the lance's point. She added that she asked this Catherine if the white lady came to her every night, saying she would, to see her, sleep in the same bed with Catherine. And she slept with her, and watched till midnight, saw nothing, and went to sleep. And when the morning came and she asked Catherine whether the white lady had come to her, she replied that she had, whilst Jeanne was sleeping, but Catherine had not been able to awaken her. Then Jeanne asked if the lady would come the following night, and Catherine answered yes; so Jeanne slept by day, so that she might stay awake the whole of the succeeding night. And that night she went to bed with Catherine, and watched all night; but saw nothing, although she often asked Catherine whether the lady would come, and Catherine answered: "Yes, presently."

Then Jeanne was asked what she did in the trenches of La Charité, and she answered that she had an assault made, but she neither threw nor sprinkled holy water.

Asked why she did not enter the aforesaid town of La Charité since she had been commanded so by God, she answered: "Who told you I was commanded to enter?"

Asked if she had not counsel of her voice, she answered that she wanted to come to France. but the soldiers told her it was better to go first before La Charité

Asked if she was long in the tower of Beaurevoir, she answered that she was there about four months. She said that when she learned the English were to come and take her. she

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was very angry; and though her voices forbade her to jump from the tower, at last, from fear of the English, she leaped and commended herself to God and Our Lady, and in leaping was wounded. And when she had made this leap the voice of St. Catherine told her to be of good cheer [that she would recover] and the people at Compiègne would have aid. She said she always prayed with her counsel for them of Compiègne.

Asked what she said when she had leaped, she answered that some said she was dead; and as soon as the Burgundians saw she was alive, they told her she had tried to escape.

Asked whether she said she would rather die than fall into the hands of the English, she answered she would rather surrender her soul to God than fall into their hands.

Asked whether she was then much vexed, and whether she did not blaspheme the name of God, she answered that she never blasphemed the saints, and it was not her custom to swear.

Asked about Soissons, and the captain who had surrendered the town, and whether she denied God (and said) that she would have the captain drawn and quartered if she got him, she answered that she never denied the saints, and those who said or reported that she had, were mistaken.

When all these things were done, Jeanne was taken back to the place which had been assigned as her prison. Then we, the said Bishop, declared that, continuing the trial without interruption whatever, we should call certain doctors and men learned in canon and civil law who would gather from the confessions of the said Jeanne whatever might be gathered, since her answers have been set down in writing; and after having seen them and gathered, if there remained any points upon which it appeared that the said Jeanne should be examined at greater length, she should be interrogated by deputies

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appointed by us, without disturbing the whole number of the assessors; and everything should be set down in writing so that wherever fitting the said doctors and authorities might deliberate and furnish their opinion and advice. We then instructed them to study and inspect, in their homes, the trial and that part of the proceedings they had already heard, to discover what should in their opinion follow, and to submit either to us or to our deputies or to reserve their conclusions, in order to present them after more ample and mature deliberations at a fitting time and place. We finally forbade each and every assessor to leave the city of Rouen without our permission before the termination of the trial.

End of the First Part of the Public Sessions. Sunday, March 4th (-9th)

The Sunday next following, the fourth day of the month of March, and the immediate succeeding days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, We, the said Bishop, assembled in our dwelling at Rouen many venerable doctors and masters versed in divine and canon law, and we collected all that had been confessed and answered by Jeanne in the inquiries, and also an extract of the points whereon she had insufficiently answered, and whereon it appeared she should be further examined. From the points so diligently collected and extracted, at the advice and deliberation of these learned men, we concluded that we-must proceed to a further examination of the said Jeanne. But since owing to our numerous occupations we cannot always attend in person the necessary examinations, we appointed the venerable and discreet person, Jean de La Fontaine, master of arts and licentiate in canon law, before mentioned, to pursue the legal inquiries in our stead; and we charged him to do this on

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Friday, March 9th in the presence of the doctors and masters Jean Beaupère, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles, Nicolas Loiseleur, Guillaume Manchon above mentioned.

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