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The Trial of Jeanne D’Arc


Continue....Part Six



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Thursday, May 24th. The public sermon. Jeanne recants. The mitigated sentence is pronounced.


On Thursday after Whitsuntide, May 24th of the same year, we the said judges repaired in the morning to a public place, in the cemetery of the abbey of Saint-Ouen at Rouen, where the said Jeanne was present before us on a scaffold or platform. First we had a solemn sermon pronounced by master Guillaume Erart, a distinguished doctor of sacred theology, for the salutary admonition of the said Jeanne and of the great multitude of people present. We had with us: the very reverend father in Christ Henry by divine permission priest of St. Eusebius and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, commonly called cardinal of England; the reverend fathers in Christ the bishops of Thérouanne, of Noyon and Norwich; my lord abbots of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp, of St. Ouen of Rouen, of Jumièges, of Bec-Hellouin, of Cormeilles, of St. Michel au-peril-de-la-mer, of Mortemer, of Préaulx; the priors of Longueville and of St. Lô of Rouen; masters Jean de Châtillon, Jean Beaupère, Nicolas Midi, Maurice du Quesnay, Guillaume Le Boucher, Jean Le Fèvre, Pierre Houdenc, Pierre Maurice, Jean Fouchier, doctors; William Haiton, Nicolas Couppequesne, Thomas de Courcelles, Raoul Le Sauvage, Richard de Grouchet, Pierre Minier, Jean Pigache, bachelors of sacred theology; Raoul Roussel, doctor of canon and civil


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law; Jean Garin, doctor of canon law; Nicolas de Venderès, Jean Pinchon, Jean Le Doulx, Robert Le Barbier, licentiates in canon law; André Marguerie, Jean Alespée, licentiates in civil law, Aubert Morel, Jean Colombel, Jean Duchemin, licentiates in canon law, and many others.


The said doctor began his sermon by taking for his text the word of God in the fifteenth chapter of St. John: "A branch *cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine." Then he solemnly explained that all Catholics must abide in the true vine of Our Holy Mother Church which Our Lord planted with His right hand: he showed how this Jeanne had cut herself off from the unity of our Holy Mother Church by many errors and grave crimes, and how she had frequently scandalized the Christian people. He admonished and exhorted her and the multitude of people by salutary doctrines.


When the sermon was over he addressed Jeanne in these terms: "Behold my Lords your judges who have repeatedly summoned and required you to submit all your words and deeds to Our Holy Mother Church, showing and pointing out to you that in the opinion of the clergy many things are to be found in your words and deeds which it is good neither to affirm nor uphold."


To which Jeanne replied: "I will answer you. Touching my submission to the Church, I have answered them on this point. Let all that I have said and done be sent to Rome to our Holy Father the Pope to whom after God I refer myself. As for my words and deeds, they were done at God's command." She said that she charged no one with them, neither her king nor any other; and if there were any fault it was hers and no other person's.


Asked whether she would revoke all her words and deeds


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which are disapproved of by the clergy, she answered: I refer me to God and to our Holy Father the Pope."


Then she was told that this would not suffice, that it was not possible to seek Our Holy Father the Pope at such a distance: that the ordinaries were each in his own diocese competent judges. Therefore she must needs submit to Our Holy Mother Church, and hold as true all that the clergy and other authorities had said and decided concerning her words and deeds. Whereupon she was admonished by three admonitions.


Then, as this woman would say no more we the said bishop began to read the final sentence. When we had already completed the greater part of the reading, Jeanne began to speak, and said she would hold all that the Church should ordain, all that her judges should say and decree, and would obey our ordinance and will in all things. She said repeatedly that inasmuch as the clergy had pronounced that her revelations and apparitions were not to be upheld or believed, she would not maintain them; but would refer in all things to her judges and our Holy Mother Church.


Then in the presence of the aforenamed and before a great multitude of people and clergy, she made and pronounced her recantation and abjuration, according to the formula of a certain schedule written in French which was then read, which she uttered with her own lips and signed with her own hand. The tenor thereof follows.


Jeanne's Abjuration


"All those who have erred and been at fault in the Christian faith and have by God's grace returned to the light of truth and unity of Our Holy Mother Church, should vigilantly prevent the Enemy of Hell from driving them back and causing their relapse into error and damnation. Therefore, I, Jeanne, commonly called The Maid, a miserable sinner recognizing


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the snares of error in which I was held, and being by God's grace returned to Our Holy Mother Church, in order to show that my return is made not feignedly but with a good heart and will, I confess that I have most grievously sinned in falsely pretending to have had revelations and apparitions from God, His angels, St. Catherine and St. Margaret; in seducing others; in believing foolishly and lightly; in making superstitious divinations, in blaspheming God and His Saints; in breaking the divine law, Holy Scripture, and the canon laws; in wearing a dissolute, ill-shaped and immodest dress against the decency of nature, and hair cropped round like a man's, against all the modesty of womankind; also in bearing arms most presumptuously; in cruelly desiring the shedding of human blood; in declaring that I did all these things by the command of God, His angels and the said saints, and that to do so was good and not to err; in being seditious and idolatrous, adoring and calling up evil spirits. I confess also that I have been schismatic and in many ways have erred from the path: These crimes and errors, I, being by God's grace returned to the way of truth through the holy doctrine and good counsel of yourself and the doctors and masters whom you sent me, unfeignedly and with a good heart abjure and recant, renouncing and cutting myself off from them all. Upon all the aforesaid things I submit to the correction, disposition, amendment and entire decision of Our Holy Mother Church and of your good justice. And I vow, swear and promise to you, to my lord Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, to Our Holy Father the Pope of Rome, his vicar and his successors, to you, my lords, to the lord bishop of Beauvais and the religious brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the lord Inquisitor of the faith, my judges, that I will never through exhortation or other means return to the aforesaid errors, from which it has pleased God to deliver and remove me;


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but will always dwell in the unity of Our Holy Mother Church and the obedience of our Holy Father the Pope of Rome. This I say, affirm and swear by God almighty and the holy Gospels. In sign whereof I have signed this schedule with my mark."


Signed "Jehanne +."


Here follows the tenor of this abjuration in Latin [an exactly similar document].


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Sentence after the Abjuration


And lastly, after we the judges had received her recantation and abjuration as is set forth above, we the said bishop pronounced our definitive sentence in these terms:


"In the name of the Lord, amen. All pastors of the Church who desire and endeavor to lead the Lord's flock faithfully must, when the perfidious sower of errors laboriously attempts with great cunning to infect the flock of Christ with virulent poisons, assemble their whole strength in order to combat the assaults of the Evil one with greater vigilance and more urgent solicitude. This is particularly necessary in these dangerous times in which the words of the apostle announced that many false prophets would come into the world and introduce sects of perdition and error, which by their varied and foreign doctrines might seduce Christ's faithful people, if our Holy Mother Church with the aid of healthy doctrine and canonical sanctions, did not struggle to overthrow these erroneous inventions. Therefore before us, your competent judges, namely Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar in this city and diocese of the notable master Jean Graverent, Inquisitor of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France, especially appointed by him to officiate in this cause, you, Jeanne, commonly called The Maid, have been arraigned to account for many pernicious crimes


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and have been charged in a matter of faith. And having seen and examined with diligence the course of your trial and all that occurred therein, principally the answers, confessions and affirmations which you made; after having also considered the most notable decision of the masters of the Faculties of Theology and of Decrees in the University of Paris, in addition to that of the general assembly of the University, and of the prelates, doctors and men learned in theology and both canon and civil law who were met together in a great multitude in this town of Rouen and elsewhere for the discussion and judgment of your statements, words and deeds; having taken counsel and mature conference with those zealots of the Christian faith, and having seen and weighed all there is to see and weigh in this matter, all that we and any man of judgment and law could and should observe: we, having the honor of the orthodox faith before our eyes, so that our judgment may seem to emanate from the face of Our Lord, we say, decree and pronounce that you have gravely sinned by falsely simulating revelations and apparitions, by seducing others, by lightly and rashly believing, by uttering superstitious prophecies, by blaspheming God and His saints, by prevaricating to the law, the Holy Scripture, and the canonical sanctions, by despising God in His sacraments, by fomenting seditions, by apostasy, by falling into the crime of heresy and erring on many points in the Catholic faith. But inasmuch as you have, after repeated charitable admonitions, by God's help through a long delay returned into the bosom of Our Holy Mother Church, and with contrite heart unfeignedly, as we would fain believe, have openly renounced your errors, which since they have lately been reproved in a public sermon, you have with your own lips publicly abjured along with all heresy: according to the form appointed by ecclesiastical sanctions we unbind you by these presents from the bonds of


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excommunication which enchained you, on condition that you return to the Church with a true heart and sincere faith, observing what is and shall be enjoined by us. But inasmuch as you have rashly sinned against God and the Holy Church, we finally and definitely condemn you for salutary penance to perpetual imprisonment, with the bread of sorrow and water of affliction, that you may weep for your faults and never henceforth commit anything to occasion weeping."


The afternoon of the same day, May 24th. Jeanne puts on woman's dress


In the afternoon of the same day we, brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar aforementioned, accompanied by the noble lords and masters Nicolas Midi, Nicolas Loiseleur, Thomas de Courcelles, and brother Ysambard de La Pierre, and several others, repaired to the prison where Jeanne then was. We and our assessors explained to her how God had on this day been most merciful to her, and how the clergy had shown her great mercy by receiving her into the grace and pardon of our Holy Mother Church: how therefore it was right that she, Jeanne, should humbly submit to and obey the sentence and ordinance of the lord judges and ecclesiastics, and should altogether abandon her errors and her former inventions, never to return to them; how, if she did return to them, the Church would not receive her to clemency, and she would be wholly abandoned. Moreover, she was told that she must put off her male costume and take woman's dress, as the Church had commanded.


Jeanne answered that she would willingly wear woman's dress, and in all things obey and submit to the clergy. She was given woman's dress which she put on immediately she had taken off the male costume: she desired and allowed her hair, which had hitherto been cut short round the ears, to be shaved off and removed.


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THE TRIAL FOR RELAPSE


Monday, May 28th


Jeanne resumes man's dress


On Monday following, the day after Holy Trinity Sunday, we the said judges repaired to Jeanne's prison to observe her state and disposition. We were accompanied by the lords and masters Nicolas de Venderès, William Haiton, Thomas de Courcelles, brother Ysambard de La Pierre, Jacques Le Camus, Nicolas Bertin, Julien Flosquet, and John Grey.


Now because the said Jeanne was wearing a man's dress, a short mantle, a hood, a doublet and other garments used by men (which at our order she had recently put off in favor of woman's dress), we questioned her to find out when and for what reason she had resumed man's dress and rejected woman's clothes. Jeanne said she had but recently resumed man's dress and rejected woman's clothes.


Asked why she had resumed it, and who had compelled her to wear it, she answered that she had taken it of her own will, under no compulsion, as she preferred man's to woman's dress.


She was told that she had promised and sworn not to wear man's dress again, and answered that she never meant to take such an oath.


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Asked for what reason she had assumed male costume, she answered that it was more lawful and convenient for her to wear it, since she was among men, than to wear woman's dress. She said she had resumed it because the promises made to her had not been kept, which were to permit her to go to Mass and receive her Saviour, and to take off her chains.


Asked whether she had not abjured and sworn in particular not to resume this male costume, she answered that she would rather die than be in chains, but if she were allowed to go to Mass, if her chains were taken off and she were put in a gracious prison [and were given a woman as companion], she would be good and obey the Church.


As we her judges had heard from certain people that she had not yet cut herself off from her illusions and pretended revelations, Which she had previously renounced, we asked her whether she had not since Thursday heard the voices of St. Catherine and St. Margaret. She answered yes.


Asked what they told her, she answered that they told her God had sent her word through St. Catherine and St. Margaret of the great pity of this treason by which she consented to abjure and recant in order to save her life; that she had damned herself to save her life. She said that before Thursday they told her what to do and say then, which she did. Further her voices told her, when she was on the scaffold or platform before the people, to answer the preacher boldly. The said Jeanne declared that he was a false preacher, and had accused her of many things she had not done. She said that if she declared God had not sent her she would damn herself, for in truth she was sent from God. She said-that her voices had since told her that she had done a great evil in declaring that what she had done was wrong. She said that what she had declared and recanted on Thursday was done only for fear of the fire.


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Asked if she believed her voices to be St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she answered "Yes, and they came from God."


Asked to speak truthfully of the crown which is mentioned above, she replied: "In everything, I told you the truth about it in my trial, as well as I could."


When she was told that when she made her abjuration on the scaffold or platform before the judges and the people, she had admitted that she had falsely boasted that her voices were St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she answered that she did not mean to do or say so.


She said she did not deny or intend to deny her apparitions, that is that they were St. Catherine and St. Margaret; all that she said was from fear of the fire. She recanted nothing which was not against the truth. She said she would rather do penance once and for all, that is die, than endure any longer the suffering of her prison. She said that whatever they had made her deny she had never done anything against God or the faith: she did not understand what was in the formula of abjuration. She said she did not mean to revoke anything except at God's good pleasure. If the judges wished, she would once more wear woman's dress, but for the rest she would do no more.


After hearing these declarations we left her to proceed further according to law and reason.


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Tuesday, May 29th


The next day, the Tuesday after Holy Trinity, May 29th, we the said judges assembled in the archiepiscopal chapel of Rouen the following doctors and persons learned in theology and both canon and civil law: the reverend fathers in Christ the lord abbots of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp, of St. Ouen of Rouen, and of Mortemer; the lords and masters Pierre, prior of Longueville-Giffard, Jean de Châtillon, Erard Emengart, Guillaume Erart, Guillaume Le Boucher, Jean de Nibat, Jean le Fèvre, Jacques Guesdon, Pierre Maurice, doctors of sacred theology; Jean Garin and Pasquier de Vaulx, doctors of canon law; André Marguerie, Nicolas de Venderès, archdeacons of Rouen; William Haiton, Nicolas Couppequesne, Guillaume de Baudribosc, Richard de Grouchet, Thomas de Courcelles, bachelors of sacred theology; Jean Pinchon, Jean Alespée, Denis Gastinel, Jean Maugier, Nicolas Caval, Nicolas Loiseleur, Guillaume Desjardins, canons of the cathedral of Rouen; some masters, others licentiates, in canon or civil law or medicine; Jean Tiphaine, Guillaume de La Chambre, Guillaume de Livet, Geoffroy du Crotay, Jean Le Doulx, Jean Colombel, Aubert Morel, Pierre Carel, licentiates in canon or civil law or masters or licentiates in medicine; Martin Ladvenu, brother Ysambard de La Pierre, and master Guillaume du Desert, canons of the church of Rouen.


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In their presence we the said bishop set forth that since the last public session held in the same place on the eve of Whitsunday, we had according to their advice caused a public admonition to be addressed to Jeanne: and certain points on which she was judged in the opinion of the University of Paris to have fallen short and erred, were explained to her. We exhorted her to reject them and to return to the way of truth. As she in no way acquiesced, and as neither she nor the Promoter had anything further to say, we pronounced the case concluded and ordered the parties to appear on the following Thursday to hear the sentence, as is declared above. Then we reminded them of what happened on Thursday, how the said Jeanne, after the solemn sermon and admonitions addressed to her, had recanted and abjured her errors, and with her own hand signed the recantation and abjuration as is more fully set forth above. And how on Thursday after dinner we and the vicar of the Inquisitor and assessors had charitably admonished her to persist in her good purpose and to keep herself from relapse: how, obeying the orders of the Church, Jeanne put off male costume and wore woman's dress. But that led on by the Devil she had once more before many witnesses declared that the voices and spirits which were wont to visit her had returned to her and told her many things: and that Jeanne had once more rejected woman's dress in favor of male costume. That when we were informed of this we visited and examined her.


Then in the presence of the lords and masters above mentioned we caused to be read the last confessions and assertions of the said Jeanne, namely those which were made before us on the previous day, and we asked of those present their counsel and advice. They gave their opinions as follows:


Master Nicolas de Venderès, licentiate in canon law, archdeacon of Eu and canon of the cathedral of Rouen, considered


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that Jeanne should be held a heretic; when the sentence had been pronounced she should be given over to the secular justice which should be prayed to act towards her with gentleness.


The reverend father in Christ Gilles, lord abbot of the monastery of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp, doctor of sacred theology, declared that Jeanne was relapsed. Nevertheless it would be well to read over to her the formula she had recently heard, to explain it and preach the word of God to her. After that the judges would have to declare her a heretic and abandon her to the secular justice, praying it to act towards her with gentleness.


Master Pierre Pinchon, licentiate in canon law, archdeacon of Jouy, canon of the churches of Paris and Rouen, considered that Jeanne was relapsed, and he referred to the masters of theology upon the subsequent procedure.


Master Guillaume Erart, doctor of sacred theology, sacristan and canon of the churches of Langres and of Laon, considered that this woman was relapsed, and therefore she should be abandoned to the secular justice: concerning the remainder he held the lord abbot of Fécamp's opinion.


Master Robert Ghillebert, doctor of sacred theology, dean of the chapel of our lord the king, gave an opinion following that of Guillaume Erart.


The reverend father in Christ the lord abbot of the monastery of St. Ouen of Rouen held to the opinion of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Jean de Châtillon, doctor of theology and canon of the church of Évreux, gave a similar opinion. Master Guillaume Le Boucher, doctor of sacred theology, declared this woman was relapsed and should be condemned as a heretic. Upon the remainder he referred to the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


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The reverend father Pierre, lord prior of Longueville-Giffard, doctor of sacred theology, declared that if after the period of the Passion this woman confessed this point contained in the formula, he accorded with the judgment of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master William Haiton, bachelor of sacred theology, considered that in view of the articles which had been read this woman was relapsed and should be condemned as a heretic: upon the remainder he referred to the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master André Marguerie, licentiate in civil law and bachelor of canon law, archdeacon of Petit-Caux and canon of Rouen; master Jean Alespée licentiate in civil law, canon of Rouen; and master Jean Garin, doctor of decrees and canon of the church of Rouen, gave opinions in accordance with that of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Denis Gastinel, licentiate in both canon and civil law, canon of the churches of Paris and Rouen, declared that this woman was a relapsed heretic, and should be abandoned to the secular authority, with no prayer for mercy.


Master Pasquier de Vaulx, doctor of decrees, canon of the churches of Paris and Rouen, held to the opinion of the lord abbot of Fécamp. with no prayer for mercy.


Master Pierre Houdenc, doctor of sacred theology, declared that in his estimation and in view of the decisions and ways of this woman, she had always been a heretic, and was in fact relapsed; therefore she should be abandoned to the arms of the secular justice according to the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Jean de Nibat, doctor of sacred theology, considered that this woman was relapsed and impenitent, and should be esteemed a heretic. This is the opinion of the abbot of Fécamp. so frequently mentioned.


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Master Jean Le Fèvre, doctor of sacred theology, declared this woman to be obstinate, contumacious, disobedient; and upon the rest he referred to the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


The reverend father in Christ Guillaume, lord abbot of Mortemer, doctor of sacred theology, held to the opinion of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Jacques Guesdon, doctor of theology, accorded with the opinion of the said abbot of Fécamp.


Master Nicolas Couppequesne, bachelor of sacred theology, canon of the cathedral of Rouen, accorded with the opinion of the said lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Guillaume du Desert, canon of the church of Rouen, gave an opinion in agreement with the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Pierre Maurice, doctor of sacred theology, canon of Rouen, considered that this woman should be esteemed and judged relapsed; he adhered to the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Guillaume de Baudribosc, bachelor of sacred theology; master Nicolas Caval, licentiate in civil law; master Nicolas Loiseleur, master of arts; master Guillaume Desjardins, doctor of medicine and canon of the church of Rouen, adhered to the opinion of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Jean Tiphaine, doctor of medicine; master Guillaume de Livet, licentiate in civil law; master Geoffroy du Crotay and master Pierre Carel, licentiates in civil law, gave opinions following the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Master Jean Le Doulx, licentiate in canon and civil law; master Jean Colombel, licentiate in canon law; master Aubert Morel, licentiate in canon law; brother Martin Ladvenu, of the order of Preaching brothers; master Richard de Grouchet, bachelor of theology; master Jean Pigache, bachelor of theology; and master Guillaume de La Chambre, licentiate in


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medicine, gave opinions in accordance with that of the said abbot of Fécamp.


Master Thomas de Courcelles, bachelor of theology, canon of the churches of Thérouanne and of Laon, and brother Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers, gave opinions in conformity with the decision of the lord abbot of Fécamp who has so frequently been mentioned. They added that this woman should be once more charitably admonished for the salvation of her soul, and be told that she had no further hope in the life of this world.


Master Jean Maugier, licentiate in canon law, canon of the church of Rouen, followed the opinion of the lord abbot of Fécamp.


Finally, when we had heard the opinions of them all we thanked them and concluded that the said Jeanne should then be proceeded against as relapsed, according to law and reason.


[357] I Wednesday the last day of May (30th) and the last day of this trial


On the following day, Wednesday, the last day of May, Jeanne was summoned before us to hear the sentence of law pronounced by the Usher appointed to this case, and contained at greater length in the tenor of our letters and the relation of the said Usher. Here follows the tenor of the letters: Tenor of the summons


"Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the distinguished doctor, master Jean Graverent, appointed by the apostolic Holy See Inquisitor of the Faith and of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France, to all public priests, rectors of churches established in this town of Rouen or elsewhere in this diocese, to each and every one, according to this present summons, greeting in Our Lord. For certain causes and reasons more extensively set forth elsewhere, a certain woman commonly called Jeanne the Maid, relapsed into many errors against the orthodox faith, after a public abjuration of those errors before the face of the Church, has fallen into them once more, as is and has been duly and sufficiently proven by her statements and assertions and otherwise. Therefore we expressly command and enjoin


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each one of you as he shall be required, without waiting for or excusing yourself because of another, to summon the said Jeanne t appear in person before Us at 8 o'clock to-morrow morning in the Old market Place of Rouen, on order to hear Us declare her relapsed, excommunicate, and heretic, with the intimation customary in such cases. Given in the chapel of the archiepiscopal manor of Rouen, on Tuesday, May 29th, in the year of Our Lord, 1431.P


Signed: G. Manchon. G. Boisguillaume


Then follows the tenor of the Usher's letter in respect of the preceding summons


"To the reverend father and lord in Christ the lord Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and to brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the renowned doctor, master Jean Graverent, appointed by the apostolic Holy See Inquisitor of the faith and of heretical Error in the kingdom of France, your humble Jean Massieu, priest, dean of the Christendom of Rouen, with all due reverence, obedience and respect. I inform your reverend paternities that in virtue of your mandate addressed to me, to which these present letters are annexed, I have summoned in person this woman commonly called The Maid to appear before you this Wednesday after Holy Trinity at eight o'clock in the morning, at the Old Market of Rouen, according to the form and tenor of your mandate and my instructions from you. Which things, done by me, I signify to your reverend paternities by these present letters signed with my seal. Given in the year of Our Lord, 1431, on this Wednesday at seven o'clock in the morning."


Final sentence pronounced before the people


Afterwards, towards nine o'clock in the morning of the same day we the said judges repaired to the Old Market of


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Rouen, near the church of St. Sauveur, in the presence of and assisted by the reverend fathers in Christ the lord bishops of Thérouanne and of Noyon, masters Jean de Châtillon, André Marguerie, Nicolas de Venderès, Raoul Roussel, Denis Gastinel, Guillaume Le Boucher, Jean Alespée, Pierre Houdenc, William Haiton, the prior of Longueville, Pierre Maurice and many other lords, masters and clergy. The said Jeanne was led before us in view of a great multitude of people assembled in this place; she was placed upon a scaffold or platform. For her salutary admonition and the edification of the people a solemn sermon was delivered by the distinguished doctor of theology, master Nicolas Midi. He took as his text the words of the Apostle in the twelfth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, "Si quid patitur unum membrum, compatiuntur alia membra. . . . Where one member suffer, all the members suffer with it."


When this sermon was over we once more admonished Jeanne to look to the salvation of her soul, to reflect on her misdeeds and to repent and show true contrition for them. We exhorted her to believe the counsel of the clergy and notable persons who instructed and taught her things concerning her salvation, and especially of the two venerable Preaching brothers who were then standing near her, and whom we had appointed to instruct her continually and zealously to address to her salutary admonitions and profitable counsels. Finally we the bishop and vicar aforesaid, having regard to what has gone before, in which it is manifest that this woman had in her obstinate rashness never truly abandoned her errors and abominable crimes; but rather that she had shown herself infinitely more damnable by the diabolical malice of her obstinacy in the false simulation of contrition, penitence and correction, and by the perjury of God's holy name and the blasphemy of His saints: that she had by such


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means declared herself obstinate, incorrigible, a heretic, relapsed in heresy, altogether unworthy of grace and of the communion which in our earlier sentence we had mercifully offered her. In view of all the things to be considered in this matter, and after mature deliberation and counsel with many learned persons, we proceeded to the final sentence in these terms:


"In the name of the Lord, amen. As often as the poisonous virus of heresy obstinately attaches itself to a member of the Church and transforms him into a limb of Satan, most diligent care must be taken to prevent the foul contagion of this pernicious leprosy from spreading to other parts of the mystic body of Christ. The decrees of the holy Fathers have laid down that hardened heretics must be separated from the midst of the just, rather than permit such pernicious vipers to lodge in the bosom of Our Holy Mother Church, to the great peril of the rest. Therefore, we, Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the renowned doctor Jean Graverent, the Inquisitor of heretical Error and especially appointed by him in this case, both competent judges in this trial, have declared by a just judgment that you, Jeanne, commonly called The Maid, have fallen into divers errors and crimes of schism, idolatry, invocation of demons and many other misdeeds. Nevertheless, since the Church never closes her bosom to the wanderer who returns, esteeming that with a pure spirit and unfeigned faith you had cut yourself off from these errors and crimes because on a certain day you renounced them, swore in public, vowed and promised never to return to the said errors or heresy under any influence or in any manner whatever; but rather to remain indissolubly in the unity of the Catholic Church and the Communion of the Roman pontiff, as is proven at greater length in the formula signed by your own hand. Since subsequently,


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after this abjuration of your errors the author of schism and heresy has arisen in your heart which he has seduced and since you are fallen again -- O, sorrow! -- into these errors and crimes as the dog returns to his vomit, as it is sufficiently and manifestly clear from your willing confessions and statements, we have concluded in most celebrated decisions that the denial of your previous inventions and errors was merely verbal. Therefore we declare that you are fallen again into your former errors and under the sentence of excommunication which you originally incurred we decree that you are a relapsed heretic; and by this sentence which we deliver in writing and pronounce from this tribunal, we denounce you as a rotten member, which, so that you shall not infect the other members of Christ, must be cast out of the unity of the Church, cut off from her body, and given over to the secular power: we cast you off, separate and abandon you, praying this same secular power on this side of death and the mutilation of your limbs, to moderate its judgment towards you, and if true signs of repentance appear in you to permit the sacrament of penance to be administered to you.


The sentence of which the greater part was read before Jeanne's abjuration


"In the name of the Lord, amen. All pastors of the Church who desire and endeavor to lead the Lord's flock faithfully must, when the perfidious sower of errors laboriously attempts with great cunning to infect the flock of Christ with virulent poisons, assemble their whole strength to combat the assaults of the Evil one with greater vigilance and more urgent solicitude. This is particularly necessary in these dangerous times in which the words of the apostle announced that many false prophets would come into the world and introduce sects


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of perdition and error which by their varied and foreign doctrines might seduce Christ's faithful people, if Our Holy Mother Church did not struggle to overthrow these erroneous inventions.


"Therefore before us your competent judges, namely Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar in this city and diocese of the notable master Jean Graverent, Inquisitor of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France, and especially appointed by him to officiate in this cause, you, Jeanne, commonly called The Maid, have been arraigned to account for many pernicious crimes and have been charged in a matter of the faith. And having seen and examined with diligence the course of your trial and all that occurred therein, principally the answers, confessions and affirmations which you made, after having also considered the most notable decision of the masters of the Faculties of Theology and Decrees in the University of Paris, in addition to that of the general assembly of the University, and of the prelates, doctors and men learned in canon and civil law and in theology who were met together in a great multitude in this town of Rouen and elsewhere for the discussion and judgment of your statements, words and deeds-, having taken counsel and mature conference with those zealots of the Christian faith, and having seen and weighed all there is to see and weigh in this matter, all that we and any man of judgment and law could and should observe: We, having Christ and the honor of the orthodox faith before our eyes, so that our judgment may seem to emanate from the face of Our Lord, have said and decreed that in the simulation of your revelations and apparitions you have been pernicious, seductive, presumptuous, of light belief, rash, superstitious, a witch, a blasphemer of God and His saints, a despiser of Him in His sacraments, a prevaricator of the divine teaching


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and the ecclesiastical sanctions, seditious, cruel, apostate, schismatic, erring gravely in our faith, and that by these means you have rashly trespassed against God and the Holy Church.


"Moreover, although you have very often, not by Us only but also by certain learned expert masters and doctors full of zeal for the salvation of your soul, been duly and sufficiently admonished to amend and reform yourself, and to submit to the disposition, decision and correction of Holy Mother Church, you would not, and cared not to do so, and even in the hardness of your heart stubbornly and obstinately declared that you would not, and on many occasions expressly refused to submit to Our Holy Father the Pope and the holy General Council. Therefore, we declare you of right excommunicate and heretic, being stubborn and obstinate in your crimes, excesses and errors; and we pronounce it meet to abandon you and do abandon you to the secular justice as a limb of Satan, infected with the leprosy of heresy, cut off from the Church, in order to prevent the infection of the other members of Christ; praying this same power on this side of death and the mutilation of your limbs to moderate its judgment towards you, and if true signs of penance appear in you to permit the sacrament of penance to be administered to you."




Taken from The Trial of Jeanne D'Arc. Translated into English from the Original Latin and French Documents by W.P. Barrett. French Translation into English by Coley Taylor and Ruth H. Kerr (Gotham House, 1932). Courtesy of the Medieval Sourcebook.