4c – Joan of Arc Trial – March 17-25, 1431

March 17, 1431

Saturday, March 17th in prison

The following Saturday, the 17th day of March, before master Jean de La Fontaine, appointed by ourselves the aforesaid bishop and the said Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the Inquisitor, in the presence of the venerable and discreet lords and masters

  • Nicolas Midi, and
  • Gérard Feuillet, doctors of theology, of Ysambard de La Pierre and
  • Jean Massieu,

the said Jeanne was required to take oath and took oath.

Asked then in what guise and shape, size and dress, St. Michael came to her,

She answered: “He was in the guise of a most upright man”; and touching the dress and other things she would answer no more. As for the angels, she saw them with her own eyes, and they would not get any more from her than that.

She said she believes what St. Michael, who appeared to her, did or said, as firmly as she believes that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered death and passion for us. She was moved to believe it by the good counsel, comfort and good teaching which he gave her.

Asked if she wished to submit all her acts or sayings, either good or evil, to the decision of Our Mother the Church,

She answered that she loved the Church and would support it with all her might for the Christian Faith: and she was not a person to be forbidden to go to church or hear Mass. As for the good works she did, and her coming, she must commit herself to the King of Heaven who sent her to Charles, son of Charles King of France, who should be King of France. “And you will see,” she said, “that the people of France will soon win a great undertaking which God will send, and which will shake almost the whole kingdom of France.” And she said this so that when it should happen men might recall that she had foretold it.

Required to give the date of this event,

She answered: “I refer to Our Lord.”

Asked if she would submit [her deeds and words] to the decision of the Church,

She answered: “I commit myself to Our Lord, Who sent me, to Our Lady, and to all the Blessed Saints of Paradise.” And she thought that our Lord and the Church were all one, and therein they ought not to make difficulties for her. “Why do you make difficulties when it is all one?”

Then she was told that there is the Church Triumphant, where God is with the saints and the souls who are already saved; and also the Church Militant, that is Our Holy Father the Pope, vicar of God on earth, the Cardinals, the prelates of the Church, and the clergy and all the good Christians and Catholics: and this Church in good assembly cannot err and is governed by the Holy Spirit. Therefore she was asked if she would submit to the Church Militant, namely the Church on earth which is so called.

She answered that she came to the King of France in God’s name, and in the names of the Blessed Virgin and of all the Blessed Saints of Paradise, and of the Church Victorious above, and at their command; to that Church she submitted all her good deeds and all she had done or should do. And concerning her submission to the Church Militant she would answer nothing more.

Asked on the subject of the woman’s dress offered her so that she might hear Mass,

She answered that she would not put it on till it should please Our Lord. And if it be that she must be brought to judgment she requests the Lords of the Church to grant her the mercy of a woman’s dress and a hood for her head; she would die rather than turn back from what Our Lord commanded her; she firmly believed God would not let her be brought so low, or be presently without His help or miracle.

Asked why, if she wore man’s dress at God’s bidding, she asked for a woman’s robe in the event of her death,

She answered: “It is enough for me that it be long.”

Asked if her godmother, who saw the fairies, was held to be a wise woman,

She answered that she was held and reputed to be an honest woman, and not a witch or sorceress.

Asked whether her saying she would take a woman’s dress if they would let her go would please God,

She answered that if she were given permission to go in woman’s dress she would immediately put on man’s dress and do what Our Lord bade her. So she had formerly answered: and nothing would induce her to swear not to take up arms or to wear man’s dress, to accomplish our Lord’s will.

Asked about the age of the garments worn by St. Catherine and St. Margaret,

She answered: “You already have my reply on this matter, and you will get none other from me. I have answered you as best I can.”

Asked if she did not believe heretofore that the fairies were evil spirits,

She answered she knew nothing of that.

Asked how she knew that St. Catherine and St. Margaret hated the English,

She answered: “They love those whom God loves, and hate whom He hates.”

Asked if God hated the English,

She answered that of God’s love or His hatred for the English, or of what He would do to their souls, she knew nothing, but she was certain that, excepting those who died there, they would be driven out of France, and God would send victory to the French and against the English.

Asked if God was for the English when they were prospering in France,

She answered that she knew not whether God hated the French, but she believed it was His will to suffer them to be beaten for their sins, if they were in a state of sin.

Asked what warrant and what help she expected to have from Our Lord by the fact that she wore man’s dress,

She answered that in this as in other things she sought only the salvation of her soul.

Asked what arms she offered in the church of St. Denis,

She answered that she offered a whole suit of white armor, in French “un blanc harnoys,” fitting for a man-at-arms, with the sword she won before Paris.

Asked to what end she offered these arms,

She answered it was out of devotion, according to the habit of soldiers when they are wounded: and because she had been wounded before Paris, she offered them to St. Denis, because it was the warcry of France.

Asked if she did it so that the arms might be worshiped,

She said no.

Asked what was the purpose of the five crosses which were on the sword she found at Ste. Catherine-de-Fierbois,

She answered she knew nothing of it.

Asked who persuaded her to have angels with their arms, feet, legs, and robes painted on her standard,

She answered: “You have my reply to that.”

Asked if she had painted the angels who came to her,

She answered she had them painted in the fashion in which they were painted in churches.

Asked if ever she saw them, in the manner in which they were painted,

She answered: “I will not tell you more.”

Asked why the light which came with the angels or voices was not painted,

She answered that it was not commanded her.

The afternoon of the same day, in prison

The same Saturday afternoon, in the presence of ourself and the Vice-Inquisitor, and of the venerable and discreet doctors and masters

  • Jean Beaupère
  • Jacques de Turon,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Pierre Maurice and
  • Gérard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology, and of
  • Thomas de Courcelles, bachelor of theology, of
  • Jean de La Fontaine, licentiate in canon law, appointed by us; and of
  • brother Ysambard de La Pierre and of
  • John Grey above mentioned.

The said Jeanne was questioned if the two angels who were painted on her standard were St. Michael and St. Gabriel.

She answered that they were there solely for the honor of Our Lord who was painted on the standard. And the representation of the two angels was solely for the honor of Our Lord, who was painted holding the world.

Asked if the two angels on her standard were the two angels who guard the world, and why there were not more, seeing that she was bidden to take this standard in the name of Our Lord,

She answered that the whole standard was commanded by Our Lord, by the voices of St. Catherine and of St. Margaret, who said to her: “Take the standard in the name of the King of Heaven.” And because they told her “Take the standard in the name of the King of Heaven,” she had the figure of Our Lord and the angels painted in color on it. All this she did at God’s command.

Asked if she questioned her saints whether in virtue of this standard she would win all battles in which she fought, and would be victorious,

She answered they told her to take it boldly, and God would help her.

Asked who was of more help, she to the standard or the standard to her,

She answered that whether the victory was hers or the standard’s, it was all for Our Lord.

Asked if the hope of victory was founded on the standard or on herself,

She answered: “It was founded on Our Lord, and not elsewhere.”

Asked whether if any one else had carried the standard he would have been as fortunate as she herself,

She answered: “I do not know, and I leave it to Our Lord.”

Asked whether if one of her party had sent her his standard to carry, and particularly if she had been sent the king’s standard, and she had carried it, she would have had as firm a hope in that as in her own, which was given her in God’s Name,

She answered: “I more gladly bore that which was bidden me in God’s Name; yet in all I committed myself to God.”

Asked what was the purpose of the sign she put on her letters, and the names Jhesus Maria,

She answered that the clerks writing her letters put them there; and some said it was proper to put the two words Jhesus Maria.

Asked whether it had not been revealed to her that she would lose her good fortune if she lost her virginity, and that her voices would no longer come to her,

She answered: “That has not been revealed to me.”

Asked whether she believed her voices would come to her if she were married,

She answered: “I do not know and I commit myself to Our Lord.”

Asked if she thought and firmly believed that her king did right to kill or cause to be killed My Lord the Duke of Burgundy,

She answered that it was a great pity for the kingdom of France; but whatever there had been between these two princes, God had sent her to the aid of the King of France.

Asked touching her saying that she would answer us the said bishop and also our Commissaries as she would answer before our Holy Father the Pope, notwithstanding that there were several queries to which she would not reply, and whether she would not answer more fully before the Pope than she had done before us,

She replied that she had answered everything as faithfully as she could; and if she knew anything which came to her mind that she had not said she would willingly tell it.

Asked whether it did not seem to her that she was bound to answer the whole truth to the Pope, the Vicar of God, concerning all that she should be asked on matters of faith and the state of her conscience,

She answered that she demanded to be led before him, and then she would answer before him all that was required.

Asked of what substance one of her rings was, on which the words Jhesus Maria were written,

She answered that she did not properly know; and if it was of gold, it was not of fine gold; and she did not know whether it was of gold or brass; she thought there were three crosses, and to her knowledge no other signs save the words Jhesus Maria.

Asked why she gladly looked at this ring when she was going to battle,

She answered that it was out of pleasure, and in honor of her father and mother; and having her ring in her hand and on her finger she touched St. Catherine who appeared before her.

Asked what part of St. Catherine she had touched,

She answered: “You will get no answer from me.”

Asked if she ever kissed or touched St. Catherine or St. Margaret,

She answered she had touched them both.

Asked if they had a fine odor,

She answered it is well to know that they had.

Asked whether when embracing them she felt heat or anything else,

She answered that she could not embrace them without feeling and touching them.

Asked where she embraced them, whether their head or their feet,

She answered “It is more fitting to embrace their feet.”

Asked if she had not given them chaplets of flowers,

She answered that many times in their honor before their images and pictures in churches she had given them chaplets, but as for those who appeared to her she had no memory of giving chaplets to them.

Asked, whether when she hung garlands on the aforementioned tree she put them there in honor of those who appeared to her,

She answered no.

Asked whether she did not do the saints reverence when they came to her by kneeling or bowing down,

She answered yes; she did them reverence as often as she could because she knew well that they were of the kingdom of Paradise.

Asked if she knew anything of those who consort with fairies,

She answered that she was never there nor knew anything of it, but she had heard talk of them, how they went on Thursdays; but she did not believe in it and thought it was witchcraft.

Asked whether her standard was not made to wave above the king’s head when he was crowned at Reims,

She answered no, so far as she knew.

Asked why her standard was carried into the church at Reims at the consecration, rather than those of the other captains,

She answered: “It had been present in the perils; that was reason enough for it to be honored.”

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March 18, 1431

Passion Sunday, March 18th. The statements are presented to the assessors

On the Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord, the following day, March 18th before Us and brother Jean Le Maistre, Vice-Inquisitor, in our episcopal dwelling at Rouen, and in the presence of the reverend brothers and masters,

  • Gilles, abbot of Fécamp,
  • Pierre, prior of Longueville,
  • Jean Beaupère,
  • Jacques de Turon,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Pierre Maurice, and
  • Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology, and of
  • Raoul Roussel, doctor of canon and civil law;
  • Nicolas de Venderès and
  • Jean de La Fontaine, licentiates in canon law,
  • Nicolas Couppequesne and
  • Thomas de Courcelles, bachelors of sacred theology;

we, the said bishop recalled how the said Jeanne had been interrogated for many days and that many of her confessions and answers had been put down in writing, and asked the assessors to lend us their deliberation and counsel touching the manner of our further procedure in this matter.

And we had read to them certain assertions extracted by different lawyers at our order from the replies which the said Jeanne had made so that they might more clearly view the matter and more certainly deliberate upon what was to be done.

These lords having heard this exposition solemnly and maturely deliberated. After having heard all their opinions we concluded and agreed that they should each one examine and diligently study and consult in authoritative books the opinions of doctors on these statements so that the following Thursday we might confer thereon, bringing each one his opinion; and that meanwhile certain articles should be drawn up from the examination and replies of the said Jeanne which should be preferred against her in court before us her judges.

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March 22, 1431

Thursday the 22nd of March. Decision to extract a smaller number of articles from the statements

The following Thursday the twenty-second of March, in our episcopal dwelling at Rouen, before us, and before brother Jean Le Maistre, Vice-Inquisitor, there appeared the venerable lords and masters

  • Jean de Châtillon,
  • Erard Emengart,
  • Guillaume Le Boucher,
  • Pierre, prior of Longueville,
  • Jean Beaupère,
  • Jacques de Touraine,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Maurice du Quesnay,
  • Pierre Houdenc,
  • Jean de Nibat,
  • Jean Le Fèvre,
  • Pierre Maurice,
  • Jacques Guesdon, and
  • Gérard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology;
  • Raoul Roussel, treasurer of the church of Rouen, doctor of canon and civil law;
  • Nicolas de Venderès, archdeacon of Eu, and
  • Jean de La Fontaine, licentiates in canon law;
  • William Haiton,
  • Nicolas Couppequesne and
  • Thomas de Courcelles, bachelors of sacred theology;
  • Nicolas Loiseleur, canon of the church of Rouen; and
  • brother Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers.

To those who were met before us certain reports on this matter were communicated, compiled, drawn up and put forward by learned doctors and lawyers. After having seen and heard the opinions of each one and having at length considered them, we concluded and decreed that what had been extracted from the register of the confessions of Jeanne should be drawn up in a smaller number of articles in the form of statements and propositions, the which articles should then be given to each of the doctors and lawyers so that they might more easily give their opinions.

As for the rest, to wit whether Jeanne should be examined and interrogated further, we should proceed in such a way that by God’s help the matter should be conducted to the praise of Our Lord and to the exaltation of the faith, so that our trial might be without flaw.

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March 24, 1431

Saturday the twenty-fourth of March.

The interrogations are read in Jeanne’s presence

The following Saturday the twenty-fourth day of March in Jeanne’s prison, before master lean de La Fontaine, the commissary appointed by ourselves, the said bishop and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, and in the presence of the venerable lords and masters

  • Jean Beaupère,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Pierre Maurice,
  • Gerard Feuillet, doctors; of
  • master Thomas de Courcelles, bachelor of sacred theology, and
  • master Enguerrand de Champrond, official of Coutances;

the register containing the interrogations and replies of the said Jeanne was read before her in French by Guillaume Manchon the undersigned notary.

But before the reading was begun the Promoter appointed by us and named above, who was present, undertook to prove (in the event that the said Jeanne should deny having made certain of the replies collected in the register) that everything it contained, the questions as well as the replies, had been truly said and done.

After this Jeanne took oath to add nothing but the truth to her replies.

Then whilst this was being read to her

She said that her surname was d’Arc or Rommée and that in her part girls bore their mother’s surname. She asked also that the questions and answers should be read consecutively to her and that which was read without contradiction on her part she allowed to be true and confessed.

She added these words to the article touching her taking woman’s dress: “Give me a woman’s dress to go to my mother’s house, and I will take it.” This she would do to escape from prison, and when she was outside she would take counsel concerning what she should do.

Finally, after the contents of the register had been read to her

the said Jeanne confessed that she believed she had spoken well according to what had been written in the register and read to her, and she did not contradict any other saying from the register.

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March 25, 1431

Palm Sunday, March the twenty-fifth. Jeanne asks permission to hear Mass

On the following Sunday morning, Palm Sunday, the twenty-fifth day of March, in Jeanne’s prison in the castle of Rouen, we the abovenamed bishop spoke with her in the presence of Jean Beaupère, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, doctors, and Thomas de Courcelles, bachelor of sacred theology.

And we said to Jeanne that many times, particularly the day before, she had asked that by reason of the solemnity of these present days and this time she should be permitted to hear Mass on this Palm Sunday; therefore we asked her whether if we allowed her she would abandon male costume and put on a woman’s dress, as she had been wont in the country of her birth and as women of her country were wont to do.

To which Jeanne replied by requesting us to permit her to hear Mass in the male costume which she wore and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist on Easter Day. Then we told her to answer our question, whether she would abandon man’s dress if she were given that permission. But She answered that she had not had counsel thereon and could not yet wear woman’s dress.

And we asked her if she would take counsel of her saints to wear woman’s dress,

to which she replied that it might well be permitted her to hear Mass as she was, which she sovereignly desired, but as for changing her dress she could not and it was not in her.

After the said lawyers had exhorted her by all the goodness and piety which she seemed to have, to wear a dress fitting to her sex,

the said Jeanne answered that it was not in her to do it; and if it were it would soon be done.

Then she was told to speak with her voices to discover if she could once more wear woman’s dress to receive the Eucharist at Easter.

To which Jeanne replied that as far as in her lay she would not receive the Eucharist by changing her costume for a woman’s; she asked to be permitted to hear Mass in her male attire, adding that this attire did not burden her soul and that the wearing of it was not against the Church.

Of all this Jean d’Estivet, the Promoter, asked an account be drawn up, in the presence of Adam Milet, king’s secretary, William Brolbster and Pierre Orient of the dioceses of Rouen, of London, and Châlons.

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