Jehanne la Pucelle

 This was the name she went by while on her mission which means
Joan the Maid. Her fathers name was Jacques d'Arc, her name being
Jehanne d'Arc and she is called Joan of Arc in the States, but this 
was her actual name. As I child I looked up to her and still do as 
a person of great strength and courage and unending faith. Who by 
any standard gave it her all, and had some astounding accomplishments,
especially for a young woman from that period of time dealing with
military campaigns and the politics of the day. Impressive for a
young teenage woman from a small village, Domremy, who couldn't
read or write. Because of the condemnation trial in Rouen in 1431 
and the nullification trial 25 years later, historians have a lot
of historical documents from which to work from to tell her story.
There was a prophecy about a "Maid from Lorraine" who would come
and rescue the French people. At her time half of France was under
English occupation with whom the war had been going on for nearly
a century.

 She was born in the early fifteenth century in a small village of
Domremy. Her house was located very close to a small church were
she would go and pray. She states that she was about 13 when she
was first spoken to in her father's garden. It seems that the
Archangel Michael spoke first, and put the deal together, then
that St. Margaret (of Antioch) and St. Catherine (de Fierbois) 
were her mentors, and it was in a church named after
St. Catherine that she would later send someone to find a sword
buried behind the altar. Aside from the voices which she never
mentioned to anyone, she led a normal childhood doing what other
girls her age did. Though she did refuse to be married just before
she started her journey.

 Now when she was about seventeen her teachers were prodding her to
start, which for her was to go to see Robert de Baudricourt and ask
him to provide her with an escort to see the Dauphin Charles at
Chinon, see was sent home. She goes a second time and something 
appears to happen, though it is not until after their third 
meeting that an escort is prepared. It seems an exorcism is 
performed before they leave, as a precaution by the local priest, 
for I am sure it was a little unnerving for them. But finally she 
is on her way.

 Now upon reaching Chinon and the court of the Dauphin Charles, he
had set a preliminary test for her. They put someone else on the
throne, and he hid in the crowd. When she entered the room she
knew from her counsel that he was not on the throne and went and
found him in the crowd. She then requested a private meeting with
him where she showed him a sign or something, it is not known 
what, for both Charles and Joan said there was one, but neither 
ever revealed what it was. But it was enough to move the 
process along.

 Charles had her escorted to a convent at Poitiers where her
virginity was checked and she was interrogated by the Church.
While there she sends a letter to the English to leave France or
face the consequences. Then it is back to Chinon where Charles
assembles an army for her. While here she sends someone for her
sword and has her Banner made. Now it is time to head for Orleans.

 The city had been under siege for sometime and things were not
looking good for the town which was the gateway to southern France.
When she and the troops arrived it lifted the spirits of the 
beleaguered citizens. After she sent warnings asking the English
to leave and warning them that the King of Heaven wants them
to go home and if they don't she will raise a war cry that will be
remembered forever, and almost 600 years later it still is. After
this it took several battles before the siege was lifted. With 
this task accomplished she set about her primary goal which was 
to take the Dauphin Charles and have him crowned in Reims,
Charles the VII.

 Now there were other battles before and along the way. But her
mission was to crown Charles in Reims which was deep within enemy
territory. A little over four months had passed since Joan left
Vaucouleurs until Charles was crowned on July 17, 1429.

 She knew that she would have about a year before her time would
be over, she was captured on May 23, 1430. There are a couple of
stories about her that I would like to tell here and I would urge
you to go out and read a book about her. The first is about while
on a field of battle how she went out alone with her Banner in
front of the opposing English forces and told them they would die
here today if they did not leave and they took her advice and left.
The other is a story about her praying with some towns people over
a baby that was dead so that it could be Baptized, and that the 
child revived long enough to be Baptized and then its body died.

 She was treated shamelessly by all those in power including the
King she had helped. She was held in prison for just over a year.
A few days before the end, they scared her into recanting about her
teachers, by showing her where they would burn her. Though after
this, her teachers told her God had told them of His great sorrow
for what she had done. She then took back her recantation and they
sentenced her to burn by a fire of wood, and themselves to the 
eternal fires of hell. When she was burned a man made a cross that
she put in her bosom and another brought a cross from a church
and held it at eye level until her death. The last thing she said was

From the Basilica in Domremy      GO TO THE BASILICA FOR MORE ^
                    HOME PAGE