MARCH 18th AND 22nd DELIBERATIONS HELD AT THE BISHOP’S HOME
March 18th: Meeting at the Bishop’s house of the Doctors and Assessors to consider the Case. Sunday of the Passion of our Savior, 18th day of the month of March. The Bishop and Jean Lemaitre, assisted by twelve Assessors, present.
We, the said Bishop, showed that Jeanne had lately been questioned during eight days, and that a great number of her replies had been put in writing; today we have need of the opinion of the Assessors as to the mode of procedure.
Then We caused to be read a great number of assertions which, by Our order, have been extracted by several Masters from the answers of Jeanne: so that, by means of these assertions, they, the said Assessors, will be able the better to take up the Process as a whole, and thus decide more certainly on what remains to be done.
After this showing, the said Lords and Masters did deliberate with great solemnity and maturity; and each of them did give us his opinion.
We, the Judges, did then conclude and give order as follows :
Each of the Doctors and Masters shall have the matter to examine and study for his own part in all diligence, and to make research in authentic books for the opinion of the Doctors on each of the said assertions. On Thursday next, We will reassemble anew to confer upon them. On that day, each one shall submit to Us his opinion.
Besides this, we have given orders that between this and then shall be extracted from the questions and answers of Jeanne certain Articles, which shall be moved against her in the Court before Us, the Judges.
March 22nd: Another Meeting in the Bishop’s house, in which it is decided to compile Articles from the said Extracts. And the following Thursday, 22nd March, under the precedence of Us, the Bishop, and Maitre Jean Lemaitre, assisted by 23 Assessors.
In presence of the above, have been reported sundry assertions gathered and considered in the matter, in a notable and scientific manner, by many Doctors and Masters. In view of these assertions, after having the opinions conferred thereon at length with each of the Assessors, We, the Judges, did conclude and give order that the assertions thus extracted from the register of the declarations of Jeanne shall be drawn up in a very small number of Articles under the form of propositions; that the Articles thus prepared shall be communicated at once to all and each of the Doctors and Masters, who can thus the more easily pronounce their opinion.
On the question of whether Jeanne ought to be again interrogated and examined later on, We will proceed in such sort, with the help of Our Lord, that Our case may be conducted to the praise of God and the exaltation of the Faith, being affected by no blemish.
On the following Saturday, March 24th, in the prison of Jeanne ; Maitre Jean Delafontaine, Commissioner for Us, the Bishop, and Brother Jean Lemaitre; assisted by J. Beaupere, N. Midi, P. Maurice, G. Feuillet, Thomas de Courcelles, Enguerrand de Champrond.
In presence of the above-named, We caused to be read to Jeanne the Register which contained the questions made to her and her answers. This reading was made in the presence of the said Jeanne by G. Manchon, Registrar, and in the French language.
But before proceeding to this reading, Our Promoter, Messier d’Estivet, offered to prove, in case Jeanne should not recognize some of her answers, that all the contents of the said Register, questions and answers, had been pronounced as they were there written. And on her side, Jeanne made oath that, during the reading, which was about to be made, she would add or change nothing in her answers that was not the truth.
The Register was then read. In one place during the reading, Jeanne said:
“I have as surname d’Arc or Romée: in my country the girls take the name of their mother.”
Further on, she said:
“Let the questions and answers, all that has to be read, be read without stopping: if I do not contradict at all, I hold it true and acknowledged.”
On the subject of the passage relative to her dress, she said in addition :
“Give me a woman’s dress to go and rejoin my mother; I will take it that I may get out of prison, because when I am outside I will consider as to what I should do.”
The reading of the contents of the said Register being finished, she said:
“I believe certainly to have so spoken as it is written in the Register, and as has been read ; I do not contradict on any point.”
Palm Sunday, 25th day of March, in the morning, in the prison of Jeanne, in the Castle of Rouen, We, the Bishop, did make an address to Jeanne, in the presence of the venerable Lords and Masters, J. Beaupère, N. Midi, P. Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles.
We told her, that many times already and notably yesterday, she had requested, because of the solemnity of these days and the time, that she might be permitted to hear Mass today, Palm Sunday; in consequence, We were come to ask her if, supposing this favor were accorded to her. she would consent to put off her man’s dress, and to take the dress of a woman, as formerly she had been accustomed to wear it in her birth-place, and as worn by all the women of her country?
The said Jeanne answered by again asking of Us permission to hear Mass in the dress she now wears, and in the same dress to receive the Eucharist on Easter Day.
“Reply,” We said to her, “to what we ask you; tell us, in the event of your being permitted to hear Mass, if you will consent to abandon the dress you wear.”
“I have not consulted thereon,” she said, “and cannot yet take a woman’s dress.”
“Do you wish to have counsel of your Saints to know if you ought to take woman’s garments?”
“May I not then,” she said, “be permitted to hear Mass in the state in which I am? I desire it ardently! As to changing my dress, I cannot: it is not in my power.”
All the Assessors then joined themselves with Us, and each exhorted her, for so great a benefit, and to satisfy the feeling of devotion with which she seemed animated, to consent to take the only garment which was suitable to her sex.
“That,” she declared, “is not in my power: if it were, it would soon be done!”
“Speak of it to your Voices,” said the Assessors, “to know if you may again take your woman’s dress, in order that at Easter you may receive the Viaticum.”
“I cannot change my dress: I cannot therefore receive the Viaticum. I beg of you, my Lords, permit me to hear Mass in man’s dress; this dress does not weigh upon my soul, and is not contrary to the laws of the Church.”
Of all the preceding, Master Jean d’Estivet, Promoter, had asked that there may be delivered to him a Public Instrument, in the presence of the Lords and Masters, Adam Hillet, William Brolbster, and Pierre Orient, of the Clergy of Rouen, London and Chalons, respectively.
Here begins the Trial in Ordinary, after the Trial Ex-Officio.
Monday after Palm Sunday, 26th day of March, in the Bishop’s House. Present: The Bishop and Brother Jean Lemaître, assisted by 12 Assessors.
In presence of the above, We caused to be read certain Articles comprising that one which the Promoter intended to produce against Jeanne.
After the reading of these Articles, it was decided that, following the preliminary trial until now conducted from our Office, as We, the Bishop, and subsequently We, the Deputy, have decreed and concluded, it will be expedient to proceed henceforward by an action in Ordinary.
It was also decided that the Articles just read have been well put together; that Jeanne should be questioned and heard upon each of them; that these Articles shall be proposed, in the name of the Promoter, by some grave advocate, or by the Promoter himself; that if Jeanne should refuse to answer after a Canonical monition shall have been addressed to her, as a preliminary, the said Articles shall be held as acknowledged.
Following on this decision, We, the Judges, gave order that the Articles of which we treat shall, from tomorrow be proposed by our Promoter; and that Jeanne should be, in like manner, interrogated upon each of them and heard in answer.