Monday, April 2nd. A digest of the propositions is prepared
On the following Monday after Easter, April 2nd, 1431, and on the Tuesday and Wednesday following, we the aforesaid judges, with several other lords and lawyers assembled thereto, perused the above articles and the examinations and replies of the said Jeanne, and caused to be drawn up from them all certain statements and propositions, in the form of twelve articles resuming summarily and comprehensively many of her sayings.
These we decided to dispatch to doctors and other men learned in canon and civil law, requesting their advice and consultation for the good of the faith.
The Trial of Jeanne D’Arc
The following Thursday, April 5th, we conveyed our schedule of requisition, with the said statements, in the following form to each of the doctors who to our knowledge were in this town.
“We, Pierre by divine mercyand brother Vice-Inquisitor, etc., demand and beseech you for the faith’s sake to deliver to us in writing under your seal a salutary counsel upon the following assertions, namely whether, being respectively seen, weighed, and discussed, they or some of them are contrary to orthodox faith or suspect with regard to Holy Writ, opposed to the decrees of the Holy Roman Church and the canonical sanctions, scandalous, rash, noxious to the public weal, injurious, enveloped in crimes, contrary to good customs and in every respect offensive; or whatever shall be said of the statements in the judgment of the faith.
Written this Thursday after Easter, April 5th, 1431
Here follows the tenor of the said assertions
“And firstly this woman says and affirms that in the thirteenth year of her age, or thereabouts, she saw with her bodily eyes St. Michael, who would console her, and at times St. Gabriel, and they appeared to her in bodily form. Sometimes also she saw a great host of angels; and since then, St. Catherine and St. Margaret have appeared to the said woman who saw them in the flesh. And every day she sees them and hears their speech; and, when she embraces and kisses them, she touches them and feels them physically.
She has seen, not only the heads of the said angels and the saints, but other parts of their bodies, whereof she has not chosen to speak. And the said St. Catherine and St. Margaret spoke to her at times by a certain fountain, near a great tree, commonly called ‘The Fairies’ Tree’; in the matter of the fountain and of the tree, the common report is that it is the frequent resort of witches, that many sick of the fever go to this fountain and tree to recover their health, although these are situated in an unhallowed spot. There, and elsewhere, on several occasions, she has adored them and done them reverence.
“In addition she has said that St. Catherine and St. Margaret appeared and showed themselves to her, crowned with rich and beautiful crowns. And from that moment, taking up the matter afresh on divers occasions, they said to this woman that God had commanded her to go to a certain prince of this world, promising that, by the aid and effort of the said woman, this prince would recover by force of arms great worldly dominions and glory, and that he would overcome his enemies; and also that this prince would welcome her, and lend her soldiers and weapons to fulfill her promises. Moreover, the said St. Catherine and St. Margaret instructed this woman, in the name of God, to take and wear a man’s clothes: and she has worn them, and still wears them, stubbornly obeying the said command, to such an extent that this woman has declared that she would rather die than relinquish these clothes.
“She has made this declaration simply and purely, adding at times ‘except at Our Lord’s command.’ She has preferred to be absent from the office of the Mass, to be deprived of the Holy Sacrament of Communion, at the times when the Church commands the faithful to receive the said Sacrament, rather than wear woman’s clothes once more and relinquish male costume. These saints would seem to have shown similar favor to this woman when, unknown to and against the will of her parents, in the seventeenth year of her age or thereabouts, she left her father’s house, joined with a company of men following the profession of arms, living with them day and night, and never, or rarely, having another woman with her. And these saints have told and commanded her many other things: this is why this woman has claimed to be sent by the God of Heaven and by the Church Triumphant of the saints already in bliss, to whom she submits any good that she has wrought. But she has postponed and declined to submit her acts and words to the Church Militant; and, having been interrogated and admonished on this point more than once, she has answered that she could not do otherwise than what she has claimed, in her statement, to have done, in answer to the commands of God; for in these things she did not refer herself to the consideration and decision of living man, but to the judgment of Our Lord alone; that these saints had revealed to her that she would enter into the salvation and glory of the Blessed: that her soul would be saved if she preserved the virginity she had consecrated to them when she first saw and heard them. And at the time of this revelation she has asserted that she was as sure of her salvation as if she had suddenly found herself in reality in the Kingdom of Paradise.”
“This woman has said that the sign which the prince, towards whom she had been sent, received, which led him to trust her revelations, to receive her, and to let her direct the war, was that St. Michael approached the said prince, in company with a multitude of angels of whom some wore crowns and others were winged; and with them were St. Catherine and St. Margaret. And the angel and this woman walked together by land and by highway, mounting steps, crossing the hall, traveling far; other angels and the said saints were with them. And one angel gave to the said prince a precious crown of fine gold, and bowed down before the prince, making obeisance to him. And on one occasion she has stated that when her prince received this sign, he seemed to be alone although there were several men quite near him: and on another occasion it would seem to her, an archbishop received this sign with the crown and gave it to the prince, in the presence and view of several lords temporal.”
“This woman recognizes and is certain that he who visits her is St. Michael: she is certain of this because of the good counsel, consolation, and wise doctrine which the said St. Michael brings her; and also because he names himself, saying that he is Michael. And similarly she recognizes and distinguishes from one another, St. Catherine and St. Margaret, because they name themselves and greet her. This is why she believes that the St. Michael who visits her is St. Michael himself, and that his acts and words are good and true, as firmly as she believes that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered death to redeem us.”
“The said woman says and affirms that she is as certain of future and purely contingent events, and that they will be realized, as she is of what she sees in reality before her; she boasts that she has and has had knowledge of secret things through the verbal revelations of St. Catherine and St. Margaret : as for example that she will be delivered from prison, that the French will have more glorious success in her presence than all Christendom had hitherto. In addition she has, according to her own account, recognized, by revelation, people she had never seen before, and whom none had shown to her; she has revealed and given forth that a certain sword was hidden in the ground.”
“This woman says and affirms that, by the will. and command of God, she has taken to herself and has worn, and still dons and wears, clothes like those of a man. Moreover, she has said that, since she had God’s command to wear man’s clothes, she must take hood and doublet, breeches and hose with many points, her hair cut round above her ears, and nothing about her to display and announce her sex, save Nature’s own distinctive marks.
And in this garb she has received the Sacrament of the Eucharist on several occasions. And she has declined and still declines to wear woman’s clothes once more, although many times she has been gently requested and reproved: for she says that she would rather die than relinquish a man’s clothes; she has said this purely and simply, at times adding ‘unless it be at Our Lord’s command.’ She has said that if she found herself in this garb among those of her company, for whom she took up arms erstwhile, and if she could do as she did before her capture and captivity, it would be one of the greatest blessings that could come to the whole realm of France: she added that not for anything in the world would she swear to give up man’s clothes and to bear weapons no more. In all this she has declared that her acts were good, and are good, and that she has obeyed God and His commands.”
“This woman confesses and affirms that she has caused certain letters to be written and that on some of them were affixed the names: Jhesus Maria, with the invocation of the sign of the Cross, and sometimes she affixed a cross to show she did not wish what she set forth in her letters to be done. Moreover, in others she has caused to be written that she would have those who disobeyed her letters and warnings killed, and that ‘by blows would the favor of the God of Heaven be seen.’ And frequently she has said that she has performed nothing except by the revelation and command of God.”
“This woman says and confesses that in or about her seventeenth year, according to her own account, she went and found, intuitively and by revelation, a certain squire on whom she had never set eyes before, leaving her paternal house against her parents’ wishes. The latter, when they knew of her departure, were almost stricken out of their senses. And this woman requested the said squire to lead her or have her led to the prince before mentioned. Then the said squire, a captain, lent this woman a man’s clothes and a sword at her own request: and he told and instructed a knight, a squire, and four troopers to escort her. And when they had come to the aforesaid prince, this woman declared to him that she wished to direct the war against his enemies, promising him great dominion, that he would annihilate his foes, and saying that she had been sent for this purpose by the King of Heaven. In this matter she states that she has done well according to revelation and the command of God.”
to captivity in the hands of her enemies or life after the destruction of the town of Compiègne. Moreover, she has said that she could not help throwing herself down in this fashion, although St. Catherine and St. Margaret had forbidden her to do so, and she says that to offend them was a grave sin. Yet she claims to know that this sin was pardoned after she confessed it. And she says that she has had revelation of this.”
“This woman says and affirms that St. Catherine and St. Margaret promised to lead her into Paradise, if she preserved the virginity of body and soul which she consecrated to them. And she says that she is as certain of this as if she was already among the Blessed in glory. She thinks she has in no wise wrought mortal sin; for, if she were in mortal sin, it seems to her that the said St. Catherine and St. Margaret would not visit her every day as they do.”
“This woman says and affirms that God loves certain persons whom she points out and names, who are still alive, and that He loves them more than He loves her. And she is aware of this by the revelations of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, who often speak to her in the French tongue, and not in English, for they are not on their side. And since she has known by revelation that they were on the side of the aforementioned prince, she has disliked the Burgundians.”
“The said woman says and confesses that she has on several occasions made reverence to the aforesaid voices and spirits whom she calls St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, has uncovered, knelt, and kissed the ground where they walked, and has consecrated her virginity to St. Catherine and St. Margaret, when she embraced and saluted them. And she has touched them bodily and felt them, asking their advice and consolation, has called upon them, although they have often visited her without invocation. She has acquiesced in and obeyed their advice and commands, and has done so from the beginning, without asking counsel of any, as for example her father or mother, or from a priest or prelate, or any other cleric. And nevertheless she firmly believes that the voices and revelations she has had, through saints male and female, come from God and are ordained by Him. And she believes it as solemnly as she believes the Christian faith, or the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered death for our sakes. She has added that if an evil spirit were to appear to her, pretending to be St. Michael, she would be able to tell whether he were St. Michael or not. This woman has also said that, of her own free will, without being in any way requested or constrained, she swore to St. Catherine and St. Margaret, who appeared to her, that she would not disclose the sign of the crown which she was to give to the prince to whom she was sent. And, finally, she said: ‘unless she was given leave to reveal it.”‘
“This woman says and confesses that if the Church were to desire her to do anything contrary to the command she claims to have from God, she would not do it, for any reason whatever. She affirms that she is quite certain that the things declared in her deposition were done in God’s Name, and that it would be impossible for her to do otherwise. She does not submit herself to the judgment of the Church Militant, or to that of living man, but to God alone, Our Lord, whose commands she will always obey; and she does this principally in all matters relating to these revelations, and what she claims to have performed owing to them. She says she did not make this reply, and others, by the power of her own mind alone: but she made and gave them as instructed by voice and revelation, although the judges and others present often reminded her of that article of faith: Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam, explaining to her that every faithful pilgrim of this life must obey it, must submit his words and acts to the Church Militant, principally in matters of belief, in all that concerns holy doctrine and ecclesiastical sanctions.”
The tenor of the deliberations
Here follow the deliberations relating to the said assertions, which we received on divers following days.
And first sixteen doctors and six licentiates or bachelors in theology gave their opinions on the digest as follows:
“In the name of the Lord, Amen. By this present public act, be it evident and known to all that, in the year of Our Lord 1431, convocation 9, Thursday the 12th of April, the fourteenth year of the pontificate of our most Holy Father in Christ and Lord, Martin, by the divine providence fifth of that name, and in the presence of us, the undersigned public notaries and witnesses, the following reverend fathers and lords, venerable and discreet persons, lords and masters, were personally in session:, president; , , , ; , prior of Longueville; , , , , , the lord abbot of Mortemer, , , and , professor of divinity; , bachelor in theology; , licentiate in theology; and also , , and , likewise bachelors in theology; and , master of arts.
“They informed us that the reverend father in Christ, the lord bishop of Beauvais, and brother, vicar of the worthy doctor, master , Inquisitor of Heretical Error for the kingdom of France, judges in a certain case of doctrine brought before them, had assembled the said doctors and masters, all and severally, by means of a certain summons of which the tenor commenced thus: ‘We, Pierre, etc., the following articles, etc.: A certain woman, etc.’ When the said doctors and masters had received, in the necessary manner, the said summons and its contents, they examined it diligently, with serious and mature consideration, on many occasions. And whereas, they stated, every doctor in divinity is legally required to give worthy counsel in matters of doctrine, whenever he is so requested for the good of the faith by the prelates of the Church and the inquisitors of heresy: and wishing, therefore, as their duty and their vocation bade them, to the extent of their power and duty towards God, to obey the lord judges and their request; they have declared firstly, having been desired urgently and often, verbally and in writing, by the aforesaid judges, to fulfill that request, as has been reported, for the good of the faith, that they understand they are to give their opinions in this matter as shall seem to them to conform with Holy Scripture, with the doctrines of the saints, and with the sanctions of the Church, having before their eyes nothing but the will of God and the truth of the faith.
“They have declared secondly that all their words and deliberations, in this matter and others, they submit to the scrutiny, correction, and judgment of the most Holy Roman Church and to all those to whom scrutiny, correction, and judgment belong, or to whom it will and should belong: with all the accustomed reservations in similar matters, and in the best form and manner which is wont to be employed in such declarations.
With the said reservations, the doctors and masters gave judgment in the following form:
“We declare, having conscientiously considered, discussed and weighed the quality of the person in question, her words and her acts, the manner of her apparitions and revelations, the purpose, cause, circumstances, and all that is contained in the said articles and proceedings, that there is reason to think that the said apparitions and revelations, which she boasts and affirms she has had from God through His angels and His saints, do not come from God through His angels and His saints; but are rather the fictions of the human imagination or proceed from the spirit of evil. She has not had sufficient evidence to believe and recognize them; in the aforesaid articles there are fabricated lies, certain improbabilities, and beliefs lightly accepted on her part: superstitions and divinations: scandalous and irreligious acts; temeritous, presumptuous, and boasting speech: blasphemies of God and His saints (St. Michael and St. Gabriel); disrespect towards parents; disregard of the command to love our neighbor; idolatry, or at least misleading fiction; schism directed against the unity, authority, and power of the Church; things of evil sound and to be vehemently suspected of heresy.
In proclaiming that these apparitions were St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, and that their acts and words are good, as firmly as she holds the Christian Faith, she is to be held suspect of straying from the faith: for if she believes that the articles of the faith have no more assurance than her own beliefs, her apparitions whom she names St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, and her statement that their acts and words are good, she strays from the faith. For to say thus, as contained in Article V and also in Article 1, that in not receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist, at the time ordained by the Church, she has acted rightly, and that all she has done was done by God’s command, is to blaspheme against Him, to stray from the faith.
“The said doctors and masters asked of us, as public notaries, a deposition for all that precedes, and requested us to forward it to the said lord judges. This was done in the chapel of the archbishop’s manor at Rouen, in the said year, convocation, month, day, and pontificate, in presence of the discreet persons master Jean de la Haye and Jean Barenton, priests beneficed under the Church at Rouen, called and requested to be witnesses hereto.”
“And I,, priest of the diocese of Rouen, notary public and sworn by the imperial and apostolic authority of the archbishop’s court of Rouen, have been present at all that has been said, done, and reported, with another notary and the above-signed witnesses, and have seen and heard it done. And for that reason I have affixed my usual signature together with my seal and subscription as notary public, to this present public instrument, faithfully written in my hand, as witness and in good faith, at the request of the above.”
“And I,, or Boisguillaume, priest of the diocese of Rouen, public notary by apostolic authority and of the archbishop’s Court of Rouen, notary sworn in this case, have been present at all that has been said and done, with the witnesses and notary named above, and have seen and heard it done. Hence I have signed the present public instrument, which is a faithful record, but in another hand, with my usual signature and seal as called and sworn to do, in assurance and as witness of the foregoing.”
Master, licentiate in civil and canon law, gave his opinion in the following form
“With all the customary protestations in a case of doctrine, and with all submission to the corrections of my lords judges, of all other doctors in divinity, and of all learned in civil and canon law, whom it behooves to penetrate the intricacies of this matter, I feel compelled to say that this case is verily itself infected, its subject of a suspected faith, persistent in error, schismatical, and heretical: and all this is opposed to the dogma, wholesome custom, and decisions of the Church, the General Councils, the holy canons, and civil, human, and political law: this woman is scandalous, seditious, and wanton, towards God, the Church, and the faithful. She takes herself for an authority, a doctor and a judge, when her very faith is suspect, and she herself persistent in schismatical and heretical error, if she persists in her defense in the question submitted to authority, and on which her plaint is based; she is seditious and a disturber of the peace. He who undertakes an enterprise such as this, who professes such false and perverse doctrine, who returns not with speed to the unity of the Catholic faith, refusing to abjure publicly so extravagant a doctrine and the stain of obstinate heresy, and who does not make suitable reparation, as soon as the errors and perversities of such a doctrine have been brought home to him, is to be abandoned to the judgment of the secular judge, to undergo the sentence meet for his crime. If he would abjure, let him have the blessings of absolution, and let him suffer what is wont to be inflicted in these cases: and let him be confined in prison, that penitence may not delay, with the bread of sorrow and the water of affliction, let him weep for his sins, and commit no more for which he need weep.”
Master, licentiate in canon law, official of Rotten, gave his counsel in the following manner
“Reverend fathers and masters, lord judges in this suit, have little or nothing to say in a matter of such importance for the faith, so arduous and difficult, especially in what relates to the revelations mentioned in the papers which your Highnesses have passed to me. Nevertheless, with the wonted reservations in such matters, and under the benign correction of those interested, I feel compelled to speak as follows on the said papers:
‘Firstly, with regard to the revelations themselves, I say that it may be that the statements of this woman thereon are possible with God: none the less, seeing that this woman has not confirmed them by miracle or Scripture, and that there is no evidence, no belief must be accorded to the speech and statements of this woman concerning her revelations.
“With regard to her abandonment of feminine attire, if she has not been commanded by God to this effect, which is not credible, she has acted against honor, the decency of her sex, and honest living. “In the matter reported above, that she has not been willing to attend Communion, at least once a year, she has gone expressly against the decision and command of the Church.
“In that she has not seen fit to submit to the judgment of the Church Militant, it seems that she has infringed the article of faith: Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam.
“Nevertheless I intend all which precedes on the assumption that her visions do not come from God: which I do not believe. But on that, and on other propositions of hers I refer to the decision of my lords the theologians and others whose business it is to be able to determine them, in order to qualify or name them in a Christian fashion. As for the form and manner of this woman’s trial, if it is shown and explained to me according to the last chapter de Haereticis in the VIth book, notwithstanding my poor intellect and my unworthiness and ignorance in law, I offer to work at it with all my power.
“Your, unworthy licentiate in decrees and official of Rouen in the vacancy of the archiepiscopal see.”
The reverend father in Christ, Gilles, lord abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp gave his opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, as is shown in the following letter signed with his own hand
“Reverend father and most distinguished master, your servant most humbly and promptly commends himself to your very reverend paternity. I received yesterday at ten o’clock your letters summarily containing the request made by your reverend self, and by the Vice-Inquisitor, of the doctors of theology, lately at Rouen, to deliberate doctrinally upon certain articles of faith; which has been done. You further desired my opinion. But, very reverend father and most distinguished master, when such men, in so great numbers, cannot be found in the whole world, what can my ignorance conceive or my unlearned tongue bring forth? Nothing.
Therefore I adhere to their opinion, in everything, and in conformity with them I cleave to their deliberations, adding my protests and the customary preparatory submissions; and I fix thereto my sign manual, in witness thereof. If, very reverend father and master, there is any pleasure of yours: command it. For in the performance of your wishes though my ability may falter my good intentions never shall. May the Most High keep you, very Reverend father, and grant you blessed times of prosperity and success. Written at Fécamp, April 21, your very reverend father’s disciple, abbot of Fécamp.
Master, minor brother, doctor of sacred theology, gave his opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, of which the tenor follows, signed with his own hand.
“This Wednesday, April 13th,, master of theology of the Franciscan convent of Rouen, appeared before my lord bishop of Beauvais. He affirmed that he had been present, with my lords the theologians and the masters of this town, in the archiepiscopal chapel of Rouen, at the meeting and deliberations which took place there, upon the case of the said Jeanne, commonly called The Maid. Since each gave his advice separately, as he himself did, and they came to a single and unanimous opinion, he continues in agreement with them, and adds his opinion to theirs. But since he must attend to other business elsewhere he asks leave of my lord to retire and depart. Nevertheless he is ready to continue his work in the trial, if he is so bidden, as he is bounden to do, and when he returns, to participate in it again.”
So signed: “I certify this to be true.”
Master, canon of Rouen, licentiate in canon law, gave an opinion to corroborate that of the said lords and masters, as is shown below and signed with his own hand
“Reverend father, and you my lord the vicar of the lord Inquisitor, pray learn that I have received your communication with all due humility and obedience. I have seen its contents and your request: and the qualifications and opinions of my reverend lords and masters the distinguished professors of sacred theology, assembled in so great number with unanimous opinion and judgment, and I will answer your request. Certainly their decision and opinion appear to me good, just, holy, and meet to be followed, to conform and agree to the holy laws and ecclesiastical sanctions. Therefore, following their opinion I join myself with them in everything, and for every occasion, with the protestations they made when they delivered their sentence, and those customary in these affairs.
“Always ready to do your good pleasure.”
Master, licentiate in canon law, chantry priest and canon of Rouen Cathedral, gave his opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, as is shown below written in his own hand and signed with his sign manual
“Having seen, reverend fathers and my lord vicar of the lord Inquisitor appointed by the apostolic see in all the Kingdom of France, the confessions and statement and other matters you have sent to me in writing; having conferred with many learned authorities in canon and civil law; having repeatedly turned over the leaves of the registers and meditated on the acts of the woman in question; and also considered the motives which can incline me towards the opinion of my lords and masters, these men learned in divine law and so experienced in such affairs who in great number are absolutely unanimous, I refer to and sustain their decision which appears to me according to holy laws; and I am with them in their opinion, subject to the customary protestations.”
So signed: “, chantry priest and canon of Rouen Cathedral.”
Master, licentiate in canon law, archdeacon of Eu and canon of Rouen, gave judgment sustaining the opinion of the said lords and masters, as is shown in the schedule below signed with his own hand
With the protestations customary in such acts, which have been made by my lords and my masters the distinguished professors in sacred theology when they gave their opinion, I have seen their judgments which you addressed to me, reverend father and lord vicar of the Inquisitor, and their appreciations of the statements and confessions. To answer your request according to the faculties God has granted me, and with as little incompetence as possible, I declare that my lords and masters judged, proceeded and acted well, piously and sweetly: as I turned over the pages I found their opinion good, just, reasonable, and far from divergency from canonical sanctions, it is much more in complete agreement therewith. Consequently it is my opinion that I should embrace their decision and follow my lords and masters and adhere to their judgment in everything.”
So signed: “Your servant and chaplain.”
Master, licentiate in canon law, chancellor and canon of the cathedral of Rouen, gave judgment sustaining that of the said lords and masters in a communication, signed with his own hand, of which the tenor follows
“Reverend father in Christ, you and the lord vicar of the reverend lord Inquisitor of Heretical Error, sent to me in connection with this woman certain propositions which your Highnesses had extracted. With the submissions and protestations proper in matters of faith, and without affirming any rash thing, intending in no way to derogate from the Divine Power, and having reflected and weighed it all: in view of and considering the charitable admonitions, the many summons and the choice offered even yesterday to the said Jeanne, in the presence of the venerable assembly of prelates and doctors in both canon and civil law, by you reverend father and my lord archdeacon of Évreux your deputy, to the end that she should submit the acts and sayings contained in these articles and her trial to the decision and judgment of the Church Universal, of the sovereign pontiff or of four notable men in obedience to him or of the church of Poitiers (which summons and exhortations were to my mind justly and reasonably made to her; and by all means should these charitable monitions and exhortations laudably begun by you to the honor of God, be continued for her salvation): now in view of all the preceding matter, the replies she made, and especially that she would in no way meet these exhortations or take the choice offered her, unless some other fact is brought before me to reveal the correction and reform of her statements, or some more healthy explanation, I think the said articles are suspect in faith, contrary to good customs, and ecclesiastical sanctions.
For further more learned and illuminating qualification of the articles I think the judgments of the doctors of both canon and civil law are very worthy of consideration. Given in the year of our Lord 1431, May 3rd, under my sign manual.”
Master, licentiate in civil law, canon of the cathedral of Rouen, gave judgment sustaining that of the said lords and masters in a communication signed by his own hand of which the tenor follows
“I have seen the statements you sent me under the seals of the notaries public, reverend father in Christ and you lord vicar of the Inquisitor; have seen and heard the unanimous opinion of many notable masters of sacred theology which was given to you reverend father; and seeing that in my judgment their opinion is in accordance with ecclesiastical sanctions, I hold to their opinion: subject notwithstanding to your corrections and the protestations customary in such matters. Your very humble, canon of the church of Rouen.”
Master, licentiate in canon law, canon of the church of Rouen, gave his decision sustaining the opinions of the said lords and masters in a communication which follows
“The statements of this woman which were sent to me on behalf of you reverend father, my most feared lord and bishop, and of your highness, my lord vicar of the lord Inquisitor, I have seen, as well as the decisions given in this matter by several lords, masters and professors of sacred theology. After deliberating with certain of them and with other men learned in canon law, I refer and decide for the time being in accordance with the opinions the masters of theology have addressed to you; with the reservations customary in matters of faith. But to my little intelligence and subject to the superior judgment of others the statements should be sent for the good of the matter and the justification of the faith to our holy mother the University of Paris, and in particular to the Faculties of Theology and of Decrees: their opinions must be had before judgment on the case is delivered.”
Masterlicentiate in civil law, canon of the church of Rouen, gave an opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, as is shown in the following communication signed with his sign manual and written with his own hand
“To the reverend father in Christ my most feared lord and bishop of Beauvais, ordinary judge in this trial, and to you venerable father, master, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, reverence, honor, and promptitude in your service. Although I am not worthy or even sufficient among the least, you have requested and then summoned me under legal penalty before Thursday next (this delay being fixed once and for all from Monday, April 16th, 1431) to send you in writing my deliberation, namely whether the statements contained in the articles dispatched to me with your first request, or certain of them, are suspect or contrary to the orthodox faith, contrary to Holy Scripture and the Holy Roman Church, and the judgment of authorities approved by the Church, to ecclesiastical sanctions, whether they are scandalous, rash, hurtful, criminal, offensive in any way to good manners; and what it is fitting to say in the judgment of the faith. I, , son of obedience, although the limits of my mind know little, nevertheless in order not to appear disobedient — which God forbid — and with the protestations which have been sent to you in writing by the reverend fathers and my lords and masters who have digested the matter better than I have, I hold and believe that the statements and propositions sent and dispatched by them have been well, duly, justly, and piously judged according to the ecclesiastical sanctions. Therefore I must refer to their deliberations and opinions; I refer and adhere thereto. If, however, you have conferred with our mother the University of Paris, the Faculty of Theology or Decrees, or one of them, or if you happen to do so, I in no way wish to think alone and separate myself from their deliberations; but rather would I submit myself in advance to their decision, to that of the holy Roman Church and the holy Council General.”
Master, archdeacon and canon of Évreux, doctor of sacred theology, gave judgment sustaining that of the said lords and masters in a communication signed with his own hand of which the tenor follows
“Under the protestations customary in such matters I declare that I am in agreement with the said professors of sacred theology, and differ in no way from their opinion of the quality, acts and sayings of the person, etc. (here follows the opinion of the sixteen assessors). This I declare, subject to the correction of those whose duty is to bring back the wanderers to the way of truth, and with the said protestations and submissions, under my seal, in my own hand, in witness of these things written above, according to the form of the request.”
Master, -doctor of theology, almoner of Fécamp gave his opinion in this form
“I,, doctor of theology of the University of Paris, for 25 years almoner of the venerable abbey of Fécamp, in view of what has been written on the subject of this woman, her acts and her sayings, the quality of her person, the kinds of apparitions and revelations, etc., think she is schismatic of the unity, authority, and power of the Church; infected with heresy, in view of her obduracy, and of what she said concerning St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, of the sacrament of communion, etc., and that she did it all at God’s bidding. Therefore is she to be punished and dealt with by law, to the honor of God and the exaltation of the faith.”
Master, doctor of law, canon of the church of Rouen gave judgment sustaining the lords and masters above named in a public document as is shown in the schedule signed with his own hand.
“Reverend father and lord, by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and you brother, vicar of the Inquisitor, etc., know that I have received with reverence and honor the propositions, inserted in a codicil, which you transmitted to me. I have seen them and their content, as well as the opinions of the learned doctors in respect of them; I have studied them according to my mean intelligence. Then, with doctors of canon an civil law and others as learned who met together, when I had heard the judgments on the said propositions an statements of our reverend fathers the distinguished professors of theology who were assembled in great number to this end, in order to confer with one another, I compared them according to judicial procedure. These judgments are to my mean intelligence in accordance with the decisions of the Holy Roman Church, and of doctors approved by the Church and by ecclesiastical sanctions; moreover, they are entirely in conformity with the holy laws. Therefore, with the protestations which the reverend masters and the doctors of law, of whom I am the least, made in this respect, which are customarily formulated in matters of this kind and importance, I sustain their opinion which is so learned, just and reasonable, and to my meager mind, in accordance with the doctrine of the holy laws. With a zealous heart and as far as in me lies I am ready to obey with all speed the commands of the Church and yourself in all things.
So signed: Entirely yours..
The venerable chapter of the cathedral of Rouen deliberated as follows
“You reverend father and you venerable lord vicar of the Inquisitor of Heretical Error, you have summoned the chapter of the cathedral of Rouen to give you for the faith’s sake a salutary counsel on certain propositions extracted and chosen from the confessions and sayings of the woman commonly known as The Maid: to wit whether these statements or any thereof being seen and weighed are contrary to the orthodox faith, etc., what in the judgment of the faith they must be thought of, as is contained at greater length in the exordium of the memorandum of these statements. But as we reflected on the importance of this matter we deferred our answer since we desired first, in order to give you a more certain and positive counsel, to be acquainted with the conferences, deliberations and decisions of the distinguished University of Paris, particularly of the Faculties of Theology and Decrees. Eventually, we saw and carefully considered the opinions of many doctors of sacred theology who were in this town; and also of the assembly of prelates, doctors of theology, of canon law, of licentiates in both canon and civil law and of other learned men, which you solemnly held and presided over on May 2nd, wherein many gentle and pious exhortations and summons were addressed to the said woman both by you and by the venerable lord archdeacon of Évreux the distinguished professor of sacred theology especially appointed by your order and authority, to persuade this woman that for the salvation of her soul and the welfare of her body, for the honor and praise of God, for the reparation due to the Catholic faith, she should correct and amend her shameless ways and words, and submit as every Catholic should to the judgment and decision of the Church Universal, of our Holy Father the Pope, of the Council General and of the other prelates of the Church to whom she could turn, of four distinguished and learned churchmen from the temporal obedience and dominion of her own party, of the doctors and others aforementioned who being present here confirmed that counsel.
“Now this woman would in no way accept and receive these admonitions, exhortations and charitable summonses. Far from so doing, when she was so urgently and repeatedly offered for the sake of the salvation of her body and soul, she damnably and perniciously scorned and rejected them all. She absolutely refused to submit to the decision and judgment of the Church, of the Sovereign Pontiff or of any other of her judges, notwithstanding the explanation and exposition of her errors and failings which were all mostly clearly shown her. Therefore, subject of course to the submissions and protestations customary in these affairs, we declare as follows in favor of the faith. Yes, the decisions and appreciations delivered by the doctors of theology -on these statements were gentle, just and reasonable. We adhere to their doctrine, adding that upon consideration of and careful attention to the warnings, admonitions and charitable exhortations, to the answers and denials made by this woman, and to her obstinacy of heart, it appears to us Proper for her to be accounted a heretic. Given in our chapter in the year of Our Lord 1431, May 3rd.”
Mastersand , licentiates in canon law, advocates of the official’s court of Rouen, gave their opinion as follows
“With the protestations customary in matters of faith, and submitting ourselves to the correction of our lords and judges and of the other doctors of sacred theology and the legal authorities to whom it is fitting to go deeply into this, it appears to us meet to declare: first, that in respect of the alleged revelations of this woman, according to written law it is possible for them to exist in God; nevertheless as this woman has not confirmed them by miracle or testimony of Holy Writ, as there is no evidence for them, there is no reason to believe in the words and statements of this woman.
And in respect of her refusal of woman’s dress, since she has not received God’s bidding to this effect (which cannot be believed, since she alone did it, of her own accord, against both the honor and repute of her sex as well as good manner of life), since she was duly warned and disdained our admonitions, she is and should be excommunicate and anathema. This woman, in default of a reasonable motive or the instruction of her priest, is compelled to receive the sacrament of communion from time to time, and at least once a year, otherwise she breaks the ruling and commands of the Church: likewise to submit to the Church Militant.
And if, being ‘admonished on this point in a competent manner, she has not submitted, she appears to have broken the article of the faith: Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam. All this we state on the assumption that her revelations did not come from God; and on these and other propositions, statements., and pretensions indicated, we refer ourselves to the judgment of our lords the theologians whom they more particularly concern.
Whence it appears to us that the propositions are suspect in respect of the faith, contrary to honest living, to the decisions of the Church, and even scandalous and seditious, and make whoever professed such a doctrine suspect in respect of the faith, especially if she obstinately sustains it. She must therefore be punished with perpetual imprisonment, with bread of sorrow and water of affliction, to weep for her sins and never again do anything that need be wept for, or some other extraordinary penalty, subject to the moderation of the good pleasure of my lords the judges.”
Eleven advocates of the court of Rouen, licentiates in canon or civil law, or both, gave their opinion as follows, as set forth in a public document to this effect. They were, , , , , Bureau de Cormeilles, , , , ,
“In the name of the Lord, Amen. Know all those who shall see this present public instrument that in the year of our Lord 1431, indiction nine, the last day of April in the fourteenth year of the pontificate of Our most Holy Father in Christ Martin by divine Providence fifth of that name: in the chapel or oratory of the archiepiscopal manor of Rouen there were assembled the venerable and discreet advocates of the archiepiscopal court, to the number of eleven, whose names and surnames have not been declared herein.
They, for their knowledge of law, had been summoned under legal penalties by the reverend father in Christ my lord Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and by the religious brothervicar of the Inquisitor, to confer upon certain articles which the said lord judges had dispatched to the said advocates so that they might send in writing their own deliberations to the judges before the Monday following, as is contained in a certain paper memorandum, signed with the signs manual of , otherwise called Boisguillaume, and of , priest, notaries public.
In my presence and of the undersigned witnesses especially called and summoned, the said lord advocates assembled, for they were prepared to obey as far as they were able the commands of my lord judges, since they were not anxious to incur the penalties of the law, but as true sons of obedience with a unanimous consent and a single will they deliberated thus, in the manner and form shown below:
“Subject to the kindly correction of our fathers and lords the judges and all other meet persons, although in an affair of such difficulty and importance as that which concerned the articles which your highnesses have dispatched to us we can say and declare in writing very little or nothing, nevertheless, subject to the protestations customary in such matters we think it proper to declare this.
“First, in respect of the revelations mentioned in the article; although it may be that the claims of this woman concerning these articles are possible in God, nevertheless there is no reason to believe this woman, since she has not confirmed her words by working miracles or by the testimony of the Holy Scripture.
In respect of her rejection of woman’s dress or refusal to wear it, it appears that she acted against the honor of woman’s sex: she should be warned of the necessity of resuming woman’s dress, otherwise sentence of excommunication can be pronounced against her, if she has not received God’s command on this point, which cannot be presumed.
When she says she would be deprived of the sacrament of communion with Christ at the times when the faithful are wont to partake of it, rather than put off man’s dress, on this point, it appears, she goes directly counter to her holy duties, since every Christian is compelled to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist once a year.
When she will not submit to the judgment of the Church Militant, it appears she contravenes the article Unam Sanctam and the decision of the law. This, be it always understood, on the assumption that her visions and statements do not proceed from God, which is not credible.
Nevertheless for the estimate or detail of these propositions and others related in the trial and the articles, we refer ourselves to the decision of the theologians of our mother the University of Paris, who by their learning are more proper judges thereof.
“On each and every one of these points the eleven lord advocates in assembly before me as notary public, asked me to have made and set forth an official declaration, in one or more copies-which was done in the said chapel in the morning of the year, indiction, month, day and pontificate aforesaid, in the presence of masterand , priests, sworn notaries of the archiepiscopal court of Rouen.
And I,, priest and notary of the diocese and archiepiscopal court of Rouen, by imperial and apostolic authority, charged with the inspection of witnesses, was present, with the said witnesses, at each and everything which the said advocates did and said, and I saw and heard their acts and deliberations and wrote them down.
Therefore to this present public instrument written by my hand I have fixed my customary seal, and I have signed below as I was required and sworn, in witness of the truth of these things.”
The reverend father in Christ, lord bishop of Coutances, gave his opinion in this form
“To the reverend father and lord in Christ Pierre by God’s grace bishop of Beauvais, my very dear lord. Reverend father and lord in Christ, I received in all cordiality and esteem the letters which you addressed to me in this in my absence, as well as a certain book, containing the confessions and statements of a certain woman divided into twelve articles and signed with the signs manual of three notaries and with the royal seal. As far as I have been able to gather from these articles, this woman affirms that St. Michael and St. Gabriel with a host of angels, and St. Catherine and St. Margaret, appeared to her, sometimes near a fairy tree: that she bodily touched these saints who comforted her, and promised them, to keep her virginity.
And these saints told the woman, at God’s bidding, to go to a certain prince and with her he would regain a great kingdom: that she should assume and wear male dress, as she did. Therefore she went to this prince, accompanied by St. Michael and a host of angels and saints; and a most precious crown was given by the angel to the king.
She said she knew by revelation that she would escape from prisons, that the French with her company would do a greater deed than ever before or ever was done by all Christendom: that for her to be in man’s dress amongst the French as she was before her capture, would be one of the greatest pieces of fortune that could happen to the whole kingdom of France.
“That from her prince she received arms and soldiers, and had often published mandates in which she inserted the words Jhesus and Maria, and also the sign of the cross, when she intended men to do other than as she -declared; in others she threatened with death those who did not obey her letters. Moreover, she hurled herself from a tower in spite of the prohibition of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, which was a great sin, capable of remission however by confession.
This she knew by revelation. So she hurled herself out, preferring death to imprisonment in the hands of her enemies and the prospect of seeing the town of Compiègne destroyed. She said she would die and go without holy communion rather than give up man’s dress: that she believes she has never been guilty of mortal sin, that she knows she is as assured of the salvation of her soul as if she were already in the kingdom of heaven. Of certain purely contingent events she Professes to have certain knowledge, as if she saw them in reality.
Further she claims to know that God loves certain living persons she has named more than He loves her: also she affirms she did reverence to the angels, St. Catherine and St. Margaret, uncovering her head, bending her knees, kissing the earth on which they walked. She said she was as convinced and positive that her revelations came from God as she firmly believed in the Catholic faith and that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered passion for our salvation.
That if the Church wished her to do aught contrary to the command. she had received she would not for any reason do it, it would be impossible for her. That she is sure that what is written in her trial comes from God, and she will not submit to the judgment of the Church Militant or of any man alive, but to God whose will she does, especially in respect of the revelations.
This, reverend father, is what I have been able to gather from the articles summarized from the original trial, and, to my mind, a lawfully conducted one.
“There is naturally no reason to suppose that you, reverend- father, and the lords and masters so learned and experienced whom you have consulted in such an affair, could in anything, much less in such a question, wander from the path of truth. And, although this matter has been conducted in the most learned and accurate fashion, and though I can supply no forceful or new explanation, I will, as you command, require and constrain me, with as little error as possible, speak in this way, but will abstain from evaluating the omissions in each of the articles since I do not wish to seem to teach Minerva herself.
Certainly, reverend father, I consider this woman to have a subtle spirit, inclined to evil, excited by a devilish instinct, bereft of the grace of the Holy Spirit, namely virtue and humility. It is evident that these two signs are in no way present in this woman, if we carefully weigh her words. “Truly, certain of her statements (saving a superior judgment) appear contrary to the Catholic faith, heretical or at least vehemently suspected of heresy. These and others are filled only with boastings, superstitions that are scandalous, seditious of the public weal, and very frequently, more than I can express, offensive and dangerous.
These statements even to blind eyes may not be dissimulated or passed over lightly without the timely remedy of justice, and as justice moreover advises, their condemnation may not be put off: for it is possible that some are of the opinion that it is meet to postpone the discussion and decision of this cause. For this woman, even if she were to consent to revoke all those parts of her statements which are in need of it, must be left under excellent guard as long as it is necessary until the day when she shall appear to have been sufficiently reformed and corrected. If she will not revoke what she should, she should be dealt with according to the custom for those who are stiffnecked against the faith: this is all subject to a higher opinion than mine.
Thus, reverend father and lord, have I felt it my duty to speak in this circumstance, bating every correction which a higher judgment than my own can bring. I am ready to perform whatever is your pleasure, and may the Most High please to keep you in happiness according to your desires.
Written at Coutances, May 5th. Yours in all things, most reverend father,, bishop of Coutances.”
The reverend father in Christ, the lord bishop of Lisieux, gave the following opinion
“To the reverend father and lord in Christ my lord Pierre by divine grace bishop of Beauvais and to the prudent and learned master, vicar of the Lord Inquisitor of Heretical Error, , by the same grace bishop of Lisieux, greeting in Our Lord and cordial goodwill in complying with your demands. Reverend father and lord, know that I have received your letters and the statements confessed recently by a certain woman commonly called The Maid in her trial, in the form of articles drawn up in a paper memorandum, with all the integrity of purpose proper to your reverence from my part. And having seen, examined, and carefully studied them all, I send you herewith the articles with my judgment and opinion, under my seal. Given at Lisieux this 14th day of March, 1431.”
“Reverend father, it is extremely difficult to establish a certain judgment in the matter of apparitions and revelations contained in the articles you have addressed to me under the seals of certain notaries: for according to the words of the Apostle ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, and will not know the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him’; and as St. Augustine declares in his treatise De spiritu et anima, the mind is often deceived and mocked in this kind of vision or apparition; for -now it sees true things, now false, and at times either a good or a false spirit is in control
It is not easy to distinguish by what spirit the mind is directed; therefore we cannot give credence to any person who simply and barely affirms he is sent from God to show forth in the world the secret and invisible judgment of God, unless he is justified by the appearance of signs and miracles or by the special testimony of the Scriptures (as is declared in the decretal concerning heretics, Cum ex injuncto): but no conjecture or external appearance, or sign of admirable holiness or distinguished life appear in her, to my mind, from which it may be presumed that God has breathed into this woman the breath of prophecy, in virtue whereof she might have performed such marvelous deeds as she boasts.
Therefore and in view of these facts I., bishop of Lisieux, subject to the protestations and submissions usual in these affairs, after a mature examination and deliberation, I declare that considering the vile condition of her person, the foolish and presumptuous statements she has made, the manner and form in which she claims to have received these visions and revelations, and after having reflected on her other words and deeds, there is in truth reason to conclude that her visions and revelations do not come from God through the ministry of His angels, as she affirms.
“One of two things must be accepted: either that there have been deceptions and phantasms on the part of devils who usurp the form of angels and sometimes counterfeit the appearance and likeness of different persons, or that they are lies humanly conceived and invented to abuse gross and ignorant natures. In the first case many of the said articles contain false and scandalous innovations, rash and presumptuous declarations, full of false pride offensive to pious ears, of impiety, and of contempt of the sacrament of Communion. When she says she will not submit her acts and sayings to the decision and judgment of the Church Militant she utterly destroys the power and authority of the Church. Wherefore, after she has been properly and charitably admonished and exhorted, and solemnly required and summoned to submit the interpretation of her declarations and confessions as every faithful Christian must to the judgment and decision of Our Holy Father the Pope, of the Church Universal met together in general council, or of the other prelates of the Church who possess this authority, if she refuses and disdains with an obstinate mind to submit, she must be judged schismatic and vehemently suspected in the faith. This is my opinion in the present matter, bating a superior judgment.
In witness whereof I affix my seal on the year and day above mentioned.”
The reverend fathers in Christ, masters Nicolas, abbot of Jumièges, and Guillaume, abbot of Cormeilles, doctors of decrees, gave their opinion in a memorandum signed with their hand, of which the tenor follows
“You ask and require us in a memorandum, most reverend father and lord in Christ, Pierre, bishop of Beauvais, and you brother, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, that we humble abbots, and , should present to you in writing before Monday next our deliberations upon the subject of whether the statements contained in the articles that you have addressed to us in regard to a certain woman are contrary to the orthodox faith or suspect, etc., as is declared more fully in the memorandum.
Formerly, however, we made answer to your demand under our seals that the whole trial of this woman should be submitted to our mother the University of Paris, whose opinion in such a difficult task we are most anxious to follow. Nevertheless you were not satisfied with our answer and have once more made this request: therefore, submitting our opinion to the decision of the Holy Roman Church and the Council General, we declare to-day that the case of this woman may be reduced to four points. First, concerning submission to the Church Militant, this woman should be charitably admonished in public and before all eyes, and the danger she is incurring should be explained to her; if after this lawful warning she persists in her evil-doing she must be deemed suspect in the faith.
As for her revelations, and the wearing of man’s dress which she claims to have from God, it does not prima facie appear to us that we can hold or believe or give faith to them, since they are not supported by holiness of life or miracles. The fourth point, that she is not guilty of mortal sin, God alone knows, who reads the heart of men; and as these are things we cannot know who may not judge of what is hidden, the more so since we were not present at her examination, we refer ourselves to the masters of theology for a further decision. In witness whereof we fix our signs manual to this scrip, Sunday, April 29th, 1431.”
Master, doctor of canon and civil law, treasurer of the church of Rouen, gave his opinion as follows
“Reverend father in Christ my most feared lord and you, our honored lord and master, may your highnesses know that beyond what I have already written to you I can say nothing, except that I believe these statements to be false, treacherous and cunningly invented by this woman and her abettors to accomplish her aims and those of her party. For further qualification of these propositions I defer to the masters of theology and intend to adhere to their opinion. These opinions are subject to the customary protestations in such difficult affairs. Given this last day of April, 1431.”
Signed: Your servant,.
Master, , and , bachelors of theology, gave their opinion in the following manner
“Subject to the protestations we elsewhere indicate, and to which we adhere, upon those things which you reverend father and the vicar of the lord Inquisitor demand our reply, namely a formal judgment on certain statements of this woman’s, which we heard, whether they are contrary to the orthodox faith, to Holy Scripture, and suspect in matters of faith, it appeared to us then as now, that a formal answer on these statements, subject to a higher decision, is dependent upon a positive distinction which our insufficiency cannot attain, concerning the origin of the revelations mentioned in the articles which you addressed to us.
Because, if these revelations proceed from an evil spirit or demon, or are imagined by her own efforts, it appears to us that many of the statements are suspect in faith, injurious, contrary to honest living and infected with many errors indicated in the memorandum. If on the contrary these revelations come from God or a good spirit, which is however not clear to us, they cannot in our opinion be interpreted in an evil sense. Thus, reverend father and lord, our consciences dictate in all humility and due submission in respect of the points whereon you seek our answer.”
Signed:, , .
Master, bachelor of theology, gave his opinion on a memorandum signed with his own hand of which the tenor follows
“Subject to all due protestations and submissions which I have elsewhere expressed in my deliberation, to which I adhere and which I beg you once more to receive, reverend father in Christ, my most feared lord and you, my reverend master lord vicar of the Inquisitor; of the statements concerning certain revelations in respect of which you lately addressed me, some, as I have already indicated, prima facie appear to me and formally are scandalous: others are suspect in faith, others still are rash, inciting to evil and error. And the better to expound them I have referred myself and do so once more to the lords and masters my superiors.
Nevertheless now, without affirming anything which may not be affirmed, and humbly submitting my person and sayings to your kindly correction, reverend father and lord, as well as that of the lords and masters my superiors, when in Articles I and XI she says she saw St. Michael in the flesh, I do not know whether she is speaking the truth, but I fear there is some phantasm or invented lie.
In respect of St. Catherine and St. Margaret ordering her in God’s name to wear man’s dress which she would rather die than put off, there is, I fear, presumptuousness. To prefer not to receive Mass, to be deprived of the sacrament of the Eucharist at the time ordained by the Church, rather than to give up her male costume, seems to me scandalous and of evil example. When she postponed and refused the submission of her person and deeds to the Church Militant, after being repeatedly admonished and required so to do, and in Article XII when she will not refer herself in respect of her revelations to the decision of the Church Militant or any living man, she appears in my opinion schismatic, suspect of error, and of evil example, for she is the more firmly and with greater assurance bound to obey the instructions and commands of the Church rather than her apparitions which are perchance fantastic and diabolical, since evil spirits sometimes counterfeit the appearance of good angels.
“In respect of Article II and the sign that she claims the prince to whom she was sent received, I do not know: perhaps as before, an invention and lying fiction. In respect of Article III, that she is certain that he who visited her was St. Michael because he so named himself, it appears a presumption beyond credence of any spirit, and perhaps as before the illusion of the evil one. In respect of her belief in her own truth and goodness, which she holds as firmly as she believes that Christ suffered and died for us, it appears that she is suspect of heresy, that she exposes our faith to derision and so endangers its strength.
“In respect of Article IV, that she is as sure of divers future events as of that which is actually before her eyes, she is presumptuous, for the things to come are not established of necessity; and even if one allowed it to be a divine revelation, it is perhaps merely in the category of the prophet Jonah’s foretelling, ‘Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown! In respect of St. Catherine and St. Margaret revealing to her that they would deliver her, it is doubtless a false invention or boasting. In respect of the revelation of the sword, perhaps it was the revelation of an evil or human spirit, and there is no reason to give it credence.
In respect of Article V, that she assumed man’s dress at God’s command, it is not probable, but scandalous, shameful, and dishonest, especially for the woman and young girl she claims to be, unless she did it to escape violence and keep her virginity. In respect of Article VI, that in the letters she had written she inserted the sign of the cross and this sign was to indicate to those whom she wrote that they must not do as she commanded, although crosses signify what we wish, nevertheless she can be suspected of having done it at the instigation of the enemy to the scorn and blasphemy of Christ crucified, that is of the highest truth, which she hates.
“In respect of the remainder of the proposition, it discloses nothing but haughtiness and boasting. In Article VII, when she joined the company of a squire she had never seen, she acted with rashness and lay herself open to outrage; and in respect of Article VIII, of hurling herself from a high tower, that is evident. When of her own will she left her father’s house against her parents’ will, she showed less than the honor and love we owe our parents; she broke the commandments of honoring her father and mother, and doubtlessly acted from headstrong malice and a hard heart. In respect of Article VIII, as we have already said, when she threw herself from the tower she was ill and madly advised, and it appears that the evil spirit incited her and showed her the sign of despair; the remainder of this proposition can only be boasting.
In respect of Article IX, that St. Catherine and St. Margaret gave her promises, I do not know; but it is undoubtedly a rash invention and boastful lie. When she imagines she has not committed mortal sin, that seems to be presumptuousness, and contrary to her leap from the tower. With regard to Article X, when she affirms that God loves certain people, it is well: but when she says that St. Catherine and St. Margaret do not speak English, she utters a rash statement and what seems to me a sort of blasphemy, for is not God lord of all, the supreme providence, both for the English and others?
Thus she appears to have spoken contrary to the law of love which we should bear our neighbor. In respect of Article XI, that she embraced and kissed bodily and with her senses St. Catherine and St. Margaret, I see in this nothing but imagination, and fictitious lies, or the deception of demons: and if she had adored them, simply and unconditionally, she would not have rashly exposed herself to the charge of idolatry. In respect of Article XII, I have the same opinion as of Article I.
Nevertheless, my reverend father and my lords, it is meet to take into account the frailty of womankind; and the propositions and statements should be repeated to her in French, she should be charitably admonished to reform, and not to presume so much upon revelations which may be uttered and invented by the evil spirit or some other.
Therefore, as I said, to bring this to a more certain and positive conclusion and issue, so that it cannot be suspect from any quarter, I think, though submitting to higher opinion, that for the honor of his royal majesty and of yourself, for the peace and tranquillity of your conscience, the said articles should be sent with the appropriate comments to the apostolic Holy See. These, reverend father in Christ, and my master the lord vicar of the Inquisitor, are my opinions in this matter, subject to all correction and in all obedience.”
April 18, 1431
Therefore on Wednesday, April 18th, 1431, we the said judges, knowing from the deliberations and opinions of many doctors of sacred theology and of canon law, of licentiates in law and graduates of the other faculties, the great number of serious errors discovered in the answers and assertions of the said Jeanne, and knowing that if she did not correct herself she exposed herself to grave perils: for these reasons we decided to exhort her charitably and gently admonish her, and to have her admonished gently by many men of honesty and learning, doctors and others, in order to lead her back to the way of truth and a sincere profession of the faith. To this end we did this day repair to the place of her prison, accompanied by
- , and
- , doctors, and
- , bachelor of sacred theology.
In their presence we the said bishop addressed the said Jeanne,
Who then said she was ill
We told her that the said masters and doctors had come in all friendliness and charity to visit her in her illness, to comfort and console her. Then we reminded her that for many different days in the presence of many learned persons she had been examined on grave and difficult questions concerning the faith, to which she had given varied and divergent answers which wise and learned men considering and examining diligently had found to contain words and confessions that from the point of view of the faith were dangerous; but because she was an unlettered and ignorant woman we offered to provide her with wise and learned men, upright and kindly, who could duly instruct her.
We exhorted the doctors and masters then present to give salutary counsel to this Jeanne for the salvation of her body and soul and to conform to the duty of faithfulness which bound them to the true doctrine of the faith.
If Jeanne knew others apt for this we offered to send them to her so that they should give her advice and instruction upon what she should do, maintain and believe. We added that we were clergy, that we were by our vocation, will, and inclination, disposed to seek the salvation of the soul and assure that of the body by all possible means, as we should do it for our nearest and for ourselves.
That we should be happy each day to furnish her with such men as would instruct her duly, and in a word to perform for her all the Church is accustomed to do in such circumstances, for she does not shut the fold against the lamb who would return. Finally we told the said Jeanne to take good account of the present admonition and to put it into effect. For if she should act in opposition thereto, trusting to her own mind and her inexperienced head, we should be compelled to abandon her; that she must therefore see the peril which would result to her in that case; which, with all our might and affection, we hoped to avoid.
To which Jeanne answered that she thanked us for what we said of her salvation, and added: “It seems to me, seeing how ill I am, that I am in great danger of death: if it be that God desires to do His pleasure on me, I ask to receive confession and my Saviour also, and a burial in holy ground.”
Then she was told that if she wished to receive the sacraments of the Church, she must do as good Catholics are in duty bound, and must submit to the holy Church, and if she persisted in her intention not to submit to the Church she would not be allowed to receive the sacraments she asked for, except the sacrament of penance, which we were always ready to administer.
But She answered: “I cannot now tell you anything more.”
She was told that the more she feared for her life because of her illness, the more she ought to amend that life; that she would not enjoy the rights of the Church as a Catholic if she did not submit to the Church.
She answered: “If my body dies in prison, I trust you will have it buried in holy ground; if you do not, I put my trust in Our Lord.”
She was told that in her trial she had said that if she had done or said anything contrary to our Christian faith ordained by God she would not wish to sustain it.
She answered: “I refer me to the answer which I made and to Our Lord.”
Then, as she had professed to have many revelations from God through the medium of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she was asked this question: “If some good creature were to come to you and affirm that he had received revelations from God concerning your mission, would you believe him?”
She answered that no Christian in the world could come to her saying he had a revelation about her but she would know whether he was speaking the truth or not; she would know it through St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
Asked whether she thought God could reveal nothing to a good creature which she would not know,
She answered that she knew well that He could. “But ” she added “I should not believe any man or woman if I had no sign.”
Asked whether she believed that the Holy Scriptures were revealed by God,
She answered: “You know it well, it is good to know that it was.”
Then she was summoned, exhorted and required to take the good counsel of the clergy and notable doctors and trust in it for the salvation of her soul. She was asked if she would submit her acts and sayings to the Church Militant,
and answered in the end: “Whatever happens to me I will do and say nothing except what I have already said in the trial.”
Whereupon the venerable doctors above mentioned who were present exhorted her as urgently as they could, to submit herself and her sayings to the Church Militant, citing in explanation to her many authorities and examples from the Holy Scriptures.
And in particular one of the doctors [master], in his exhortation, quoted this passage from St. Matthew, chapter xviii. “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, etc.,” and also, “If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” This was explained to Jeanne in French, and she was finally told that if she would not submit to the Church and obey it she would be abandoned as an infidel.
To which the said Jeanne answered that she was a good Christian, and had been properly baptized, and so she would die a good Christian.
Asked why, since she requested the Church to administer the sacrament of the Eucharist to her, she would not submit to the Church Militant, as then she had been promised the sacrament,
She answered that she would not reply other than she had already done on the question of submission; she loved God, was a good Christian and desired to aid and support Holy Church with all her strength.
Asked if she did not wish a fine and distinguished procession to be ordained to restore her to a good estate if she were not therein,
She answered that she much desired the Church and the Catholics to pray for her.