EXHORTATIONS AND ADMONITIONS
APRIL 18th and May 2nd.
Private Exhortation by the Bishop. Wednesday, 18th day of April.
We, the Judges, having cognizance already by the deliberations and opinions of a great number of Doctors in Theology and in Canon Law, of Licentiates and other Graduates, of the many and considerable errors brought out in the replies and assertions of the said Jeanne, and knowing that she did expose herself, if she did not correct herself, to serious dangers : For this reason, We did decide to exhort her charitably, to admonish her gently, and to cause her to be gently admonished by many men of knowledge and probity, Doctors and others, in order to lead her back into the way of truth and to a sincere profession of our Faith.
To this end, We did today repair to the place of her prison, having with us Guillaume Lebouchier, Jacques de Touraine, Maurice de Quesnay, Nicolas Midi, Guillaume Adelie, Gerard Feuillet, and Guillaume Haiton.
In their presence We, the Bishop, did begin to speak to Jeanne, who declared herself ill.1We told her that the Doctors and Masters who accompanied Us were come to see her in a friendly and charitable way, to visit her in her suffering and to bring her consolation and comfort. Then, We recalled to her, that she had been during many days, and at divers times, and in presence of many ecclesiastics full of wisdom, questioned on points, grave and difficult, concerning the Faith; that she had made answers, varied and diverse, which wise and lettered men have examined with the most scrupulous attention; that they have noted many of her words and avowals which, from the point of view of the Faith, have appeared to them perilous; but that she is only a poor illiterate woman, who knows not the Scriptures. We come to her and We offer her learned and wise men, watchful and honest, who will give her, as is their duty, the knowledge which she had not. And at the same time We did exhort the Doctors and Masters here present to give to Jeanne, counsel profitable to the salvation of her body and soul, and this in virtue of the duty which binds them to the doctrine of the true Faith. If Jeanne should know others who appear to her more apt than the Doctors here present, We offer to send them to her to counsel and instruct her on what she should do, maintain, and believe. We added that we are all Clergy, always disposed by vocation, will and inclination, to seek by all moans the salvation of body and soul, absolutely, as we should do it for our nearest and for ourselves. We shall be happy to furnish her each day with such men to procure her the instruction that We owe her, and to do towards her all that the Church is accustomed to do in such circumstances, she who does not close the fold against the repentant lamb.
Finally We told her to take into great consideration this admonition which We address to her for her salvation, and to follow it up efficiently: for, if she should act in opposition to Our words, if she should be obstinate in her own mind in consulting only her inexperienced brain, we must abandon her; and she can see to what peril she did expose herself in this case. It is this peril which We seek to avoid for her with all the power of Our affection.
To which Jeanne had answered:
“I thank you for what you say to me for my salvation. It seems to me, seeing how ill I am, that I am in great danger of death: if it be that God should do His pleasure on me, I ask of you that I may have confession, and my Savior also, and that I may be put in holy ground.”
“If you will have the rights [droits] and Sacraments of the Church,” We said to her, “you must do as good Catholics do, and submit yourself to the Church. If you persevere in your intention of not submitting to the Church, you cannot have the Sacraments you ask administered to you, except the Sacrament of Penance, which We are always ready to give you.”
“I have for the moment nothing else to say to you.”
“The more you fear for your life, on account of the illness that you have, the more should you amend; you will not have the rights of a Catholic if you do not submit to the Church.”
“If my body dies in prison, I trust that you will have it put in holy ground; if you do not have it put there, I place my trust in God!”
“You said in your Trial that if you had said or done anything against the Christian Faith established by Our Lord, you would not maintain it.”
“I refer to the answer that I have made to that, and to Our Lord.”
“You say you have had many revelations from God by Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret: if any good person were to come affirming that he had revelations from God touching your mission, would you believe him ?”
“There is no Christian in this world who could come to me and say he had had a revelation but that I should know if he were speaking truly or not; I should know it by Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret.”
“You imagine then that God can reveal nothing to any one which is unknown to you ?”
“I know well that He can; but for me, I should not in this case believe any man or woman if I had not some sign.”
“Do you believe that the Holy Scriptures have been revealed by God?”
“You know it well; I know it well!”
“We summon you, We exhort you, We beseech you to take counsel of the Clerks and notable Masters here present, and to believe in the counsel that they will give you for the salvation of your soul. And once more We ask you if you will submit to the Church Militant your sayings and your doings?”
“Whatever may happen to me, I will do and say nothing other than what I have already said in the Trial.”
Here the venerable Doctors who were assisting Us did exhort her with the most lively instance and did strive to obtain from her that she would submit herself and her acts to the Church Militant. They cited to her a number of authorities taken from Holy Scripture, and shown her numerous examples. They enlarged upon these authorities and these examples. One of the Doctors,(Nicolas Midi.) in his exhortation, brought forward this passage of Matthew, chapter 18. : “If thy brother sin against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone”; and this other, “If he will not hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a heathen-man and a publican.” He showed to Jeanne these truths in French, and said to her at the end, that if she would not submit to the Church and obey it, the Church must abandon her as an infidel [sarrazine].
“I am a good Christian,” she answered, “I have been baptized; I shall die a good Christian!”
“As you ask that the Church should administer the Eucharist to you, why will you not submit to the Church? It would be administered to you at once.”
“Of this submission I will say no more than I have said; I love God, I serve Him; I am a good Christian; I wish to help and maintain the Church with all my power.”
“Do you not wish that a good and notable procession might be ordained to restore you to a good estate if you are not therein?”
“I desire that the Church and the Catholics should pray for me.”
Public Admonition by the Judges
Wednesday, the 2nd day of May, the Judges held a sitting in the room of the Castle of Rouen near the Great Hall of the same Castle, assisted by 63 Assessors.
We, the Bishop, did first address to the above-named the following words:
“After having been thoroughly questioned, this woman had had to reply to the Articles judicially prepared against her by the Promoter; then We have had a summary made of her avowals and declarations in a succinct and abridged form of assertions in Twelve Articles, which We have addressed to the Doctors and other persons consummate in knowledge of Theology, of Civil Law and of Canon Law, in order to have their advice. By the answers which many amongst them have for some time past been sending, We have been able to recognize that, in their eyes, this woman had fallen short in many things: but nothing as regards this has as yet been decided by Us; and before We come to a final decision, many honest men, conscientious and wise, have thought it would be well to seek by all means to instruct her on the points in which she seems to be lacking, and to reinstate her in the way and knowledge of the truth. This result We have always desired, and We ardently desire it still. For We ought all to bend ourselves thereto, We who live in the Church, and in the ministration of holy things; We ought to strive to show to this woman with all gentleness that she is, by her words and by her actions, outside the Faith, the truth, and religion, and to warn her charitably to think of her salvation.
“We were indeed penetrated with this idea when We attempted to convince her, in sending to her, divers times and privately, eminent Doctors, sometimes one, sometimes another. These Doctors have responded to our call with the greatest zeal, and have occupied themselves with her with the greatest gentleness, abstaining in every way from coercion. But the cunning of the Devil has continued to prevail, and their efforts have been able to produce nothing.
“Now that it has become certain to Us that private admonitions are of no effect with her, it appears to Us opportune to assemble you together in a solemn manner, in order that this woman should be admonished before you with gentleness and charity on the necessity of her return [to truth]. Perchance your presence and the exhortations of some among you will better induce her to humility and obedience, and turn her back from continuing obstinate in her own ideas; perchance she will believe the counsels of worthy men, of the wise, versed in the science of the laws, divine and human; she will cease to expose herself to the gravest dangers into which body and soul can fall.
“In order to address to her this solemn admonition, We have chosen an ancient Master in Theology, very learned and singularly well versed in these matters, Maitre Jean de Chatillon, Archdeacon of Evreux, who, if it so please him, will shortly accept this charge of demonstrating clearly to this woman sundry points on the which her error is evident, according to what we have already gathered from the opinions which have reached Us, and who will persuade her to leave the criminal path where she now is, to returnagain to that of truth.
“It is for this purpose that this woman will be brought before you presently ; she will, therefore, receive in your presence a solemn admonition. Now, if there be any one among you who think that he had anything to say or do which may facilitate her return, or instruct her in a manner profitable to the salvation of her body and soul, we beseech him not to hesitate to open himself to Us or to state his views publicly.”
Jeanne was then brought, and placed before the assembly.
We, the Bishop, in our name and in the name of the other Judge, did give her counsel to attend to the monitions about to be made to her by the aforesaid Lord Archdeacon, Professor in Sacred Theology, who was about to say many things profitable to the salvation of her body and soul, and that she ought to agree, for if she did not, she would expose herself to great dangers both soul and body.
Then we, the said Judges, did invite the said Lord Archdeacon to proceed with charity to the performance of the said monitions. Obeying our order, the said Lord Archdeacon did begin to instruct the said Jeanne, by showing her a great number of things contained in a schedule whose tenor will be presently transcribed. He first showed her that all the faithful in Christ are bound and obliged to believe the Christian Faith, and certain Articles of this Faith ; and he did warn and beseech her, by means of a general monition, to correct and amend both herself and her deeds; he reminded her that this was the advice of the venerable Doctors and Masters of consummate experience and skill.
To this general monition, Jeanne replied: ” Read your book” [speaking of the writing which the Lord Archdeacon held in his hand], “read your book, then I will answer. I rely upon God, my Creator, for everything. I love Him with all my heart.”
Asked if she had anything more to say to this general monition, she replied: “I rely on my Judge: He is the King of Heaven and earth.”
Afterwards the Lord Archdeacon, proceeding to special monitions, did, in conformity with a writing which he had under his eyes, speak as follows:
[Here follows, in the Original Documents, an Exhortation in Six Articles, addressed to Jeanne in the French language by the Archdeacon, on her submission to the Church, her dress, her Visions and Revelations.]
Jeanne replies to the Six Articles.
On the 1st and 2nd Article, she said:
On the subject of the 3rd Article, she replied:
“As to my garments, I will indeed take a long dress and a woman’s hood to go to Church and to receive there the Sacrament of the Eucharist – as I said elsewhere-provided that, directly after, I may put off that dress and take again what I bear at this moment. [And when it was suggested to her that she had taken this dress without necessity, especially while in prison, she said:] “When I have done that for which I am sent by God, I will resume woman’s dress.”
“Do you think you do well to wear a man’s dress?”
“I refer me to Our Lord.”
“Will you leave off wearing this dress and the believing that you do right in wearing it? Will you resume a woman’s dress?”
“I will do nothing different.”
On the subject of the 4th Article she replied :
“I have blasphemed neither God nor His Saints.”
“When Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret came to you, did you make the sign of the Cross?”
“Sometimes I made it, sometimes not.”
On the subject of the 5th Article she answered:
On the subject of the 6th Article, she answered:
“I refer to my Judge – that is to say, to Our Lord and to what I have before answered, which is written in the book.”
“If three or four Clergy of your party are sent to you, coming under a safe conduct, will you refer yourself to them on the subject of your apparitions and of all that is contained in your trial?”
“Let them come ; I will answer.” [She would not refer nor otherwise submit to them on the subject of the trial.]
“Will you refer or submit yourself to the Church of Poitiers, where you were examined?”
“Do you think you will take me in that way, and draw me to you by it?”
Afterwards, to conclude, she was anew and in full, generally warned by the Lord Archdeacon to submit to the Church under pain of being abandoned by the Church. He said, and repeated to her, that, if the Church abandoned her, she would be in great peril both of body and soul, and would fall into danger of the pains of eternal fire as to her soul and, by sentence of other Judges, into danger of temporal fire for her body.
To which she answered:
“You will not do what you say against me without evil overtaking you, body and soul!”
“Tell us a reason, one only, why you should refuse to refer yourself to the Church.”
[But she would make Us no other answer.]
Afterwards, many Doctors and competent people of divers estates and faculties, set themselves to admonish and to counsel her with gentleness. They exhorted her to submit to the Church Universal, to our Holy Father the Pope, and to the Sacred General Council. They explained to her the peril to which she exposed both soul and body in refusing to submit herself and her deeds to the judgment of the Church Militant.
[She answered as before.]
And then We, the Bishop, told Jeanne to think well over it, to take good heed to the monitions, counsels, and exhortations which had just been made to her, and to reflect on them most seriously.
Jeanne expressed herself thus:
“What time will you give me to think it over?”
We told her that she could think it over at once, and answer as she wished. But, as she would reply no more, we retired, and Jeanne was conducted back to prison.
- (Guillaume Delachambre says that he was sent for by the Cardinal of England and the Earl of Warwick to attend Jeanne, with Desjardins and other Doctors; he was told by Warwick to give all attention to the patient, "as the King would not for anything in the world, that she should die a natural death; she had cost too dear for that; he had bought her dear, and he did not wish her to die except by justice and the fire.")
- (In the margin is written "Superba responsio.")
- (Jean de la Brosse, Marshal of France, called occasionally Marshal de Boussac and de Saint Severe, being lord of both these territories.)