SEVENTH PRIVATE EXAMINATION

(In the text footnotes are in bold)

The following Thursday, March 15th, in the morning. Present: Jean Delafontaine, Commissary, assisted by Nicolas Midi and Gerard Feuillet. Witnesses: Nicolas de Houbent and Brother Ysambard de la Pierre.

First of all, Jeanne was charitably exhorted, warned, and required, if she had done anything which might be against our Faith, that she should refer it to the decision of Holy Mother Church.

“Let my answers,” she said, “be seen and examined by the Clergy: then let them tell me if there be anything against the Christian Faith. I shall know surely by my counsel what it is, and will say afterwards what shall be judged and decided. And, moreover, if there be anything wrong against the Christian Faith which Our Lord commanded, I should not wish to maintain it, and should be very sorry to be in opposition.”

Then we explained to her about the Church Triumphant and the Church Militant, and the difference between them. [She was] required to submit to the decision of the Church Militant whatever she had said or done, whether of good or ill.

“I will answer you nothing more about it now,” she said.

“Upon the oath that you have taken, tell us, how did you think to escape from the Castle of Beaulieu between two planks of wood ?”(1)….(There is no fuller account of this attempt. It probably took place during the month of July, and may have been the reason for her removal to the stronger prison of Beaurevoir, early in August.)

“Never was I prisoner in such a place that I would not willingly have escaped. Being in that Castle, I should have shut my keepers in the tower, if it had not been that the porter espied me and encountered me. It did not please God that I should escape this time: it was necessary for me to see the English King, as my Voices had told me, and as has been already said.”(2)….(Henry VI arrived in Rouen first on July 29th, 1430, when Jeanne was at Beaulieu; he was crowned at Paris in the following November, and returned to Rouen for Christmas, remaining there about six weeks, for the date of his landing at Dover is given as February 31st. It is not improbable that the prisoner may have seen the King, as they were both residing in the same Castle, and her windows looked on the fields, where he would probably take exercise.)

“Have you had permission from God or your Voices to leave prison when it shall please you?”

“I have asked it many times, but I have not yet had [permission.”]

“Would you go now, if you saw your starting-point ?”

“If I saw the door open, I should go: that would be leave from Our Lord. If I saw the door open, and my keepers and the other English beyond power of resistance, truly I should see in it my permission and help sent me by Our Lord. But without this permission, I shall not go, unless I make a forcible attempt, and so learn if Our Lord would be pleased: this on the strength of the proverb, ‘Help thyself, and God will help thee’: I say this in order that, if I do escape, no one may say I did so without God’s leave.”(3)….(“Faceret unam aggressionem;” Gallice, “une entreprise.”)

“When you asked to hear Mass, did it not seem to you that it would be more proper to be in female dress? Which would you prefer, to have a woman’s dress to hear Mass, or to remain in a man’s dress and not hear it?”

“Give me assurance beforehand that I shall hear Mass if I am in female attire, and I will answer you this.”

“Very well, I give you assurance of it: you shall hear Mass if you put on female attire.”

“And what say you, if I have sworn and promised to our King my Master, not to put off this dress? Well, I will answer you this: Have made for me a long dress down to the ground, without a train; give it to me to go to Mass, and then on my return I will put on again the dress I have.”

“I say it to you once again, do you consent to wear female attire to go and hear Mass?”

“I will take counsel on this, and then I will answer you: but I beseech you, for the honor of God and Our Lady, permit me to hear Mass in this good town.”

“You consent simply and absolutely to take female attire?”

“Send me a dress like a daughter of your citizens that is to say, a long ‘houppeland.’ I will wear it to go and hear Mass. I beseech you as earnestly as I can, permit me to hear it in the dress I wear at this moment and without changing anything!”(4)….( In the Minute: “mesme le chaperon de femme.”)

“Will you submit your actions and words to the decision of the Church?”

“My words and deeds are all in God’s Hands: in all, I wait upon Him. I assure you, I would say or do nothing against the Christian Faith: in case I have done or said anything which might be on my soul and which the clergy could say was contrary to the Christian Faith established by Our Lord, I would not maintain it, and would put it away.”

“Are you not willing to submit yourself in this to the order of the Church?”

“I will answer you nothing more about it now. Send me a cleric on Saturday; and, if you do not wish to come yourself, I will answer him upon this, with God’s help; and it shall be put in writing.”

“When your Voices come, do you make obeisance to them as to a Saint?”

“Yes; and if perchance I have not done so, I have afterwards asked of them grace and pardon. I should not know how to do them such great reverence as belongs to them, for I believe firmly they are Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. I believe the same of Saint Michael.”

“For those who are Saints of Paradise, offerings are voluntarily made of candles, etc.: have you never made an offering of lighted candles, or other things, to the Saints who come to you, in the Church or elsewhere, or had Masses said?”

“No, unless it be in the offering of the Mass, in the hands of the Priest, in honor of Saint Catherine, one of the Saints who appeared to me. I have never lighted as many candles as I wish to Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, who are in Paradise; and I firmly believe it is they who come to me.”

“When you place lights before the image of Saint Catherine, do you place them in honor of the one who appears to you?”

“I do it in honor of God, of Our Lady, and of Saint Catherine who is in Heaven, and of her who appears to me.”

“Do you place these lights in honor of Saint Catherine, who has shown herself to you, who has appeared to you ?”

“Yes, I make no difference between the one who has appeared to me, and the one who is in heaven.” (5)….(In the Minute: “et ne fait point de defference ae celle qui est au ciel et celle qui se appert a moi.”)

“Do you always do, and accomplish, what your Voices command you?”

“With all my power I accomplish the command that Our Lord sends me through my Voices, in so far as I understand them. My Voices command nothing but by the good pleasure of Our Lord.”

“In warfare, have you done nothing without counsel of your Voices ?”

“I have already answered you thereon: read your book again well, and you will find it. At the request of the men-at-arms, there was an assault made before Paris, and, at the request of the King himself, one also before La Charite. These were neither against nor by the order of my Voices.”

“Have you never done anything against their command and will?”

“All that I could and knew how to do, I have done and accomplished to the best of my power. As to the matter of the fall from the keep of Beaurevoir, I did it against their command; but I could not control myself. When my Voices saw my need, and that I neither knew how, nor was able, to control myself, they saved my life and kept me from killing myself. Whatever things I did in my greatest undertakings, they always helped me; and that is a sign they are good spirits.”

“Have you no other sign that they are good spirits?”

“Saint Michael assured me of it before the Voices came to me.”

“How did you know it was Saint Michael?”

“By the speech and language of the Angels. I believe firmly that they were Angels.”

“But how did you know it was the language of Angels?”

“I believed it at once, and I had the will to believe it. When Saint Michael came to me, he said to me: ‘Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret will come to thee; follow their counsel; they have been chosen to guide thee and counsel thee in all that you have to do: believe what they shall tell thee, it is the order of Our Lord.’ ”

“If the devil were to put himself in the form or likeness of an angel, how would you know if it were a good or an evil angel?”

“I should know quite well if it were Saint Michael or a counterfeit. The first time I was in great doubt if it were Saint Michael; and I was much afraid. I had seen him many times before I knew it was Saint Michael.”

“Why did you recognize him sooner at that time, when you say you believed it was he, than when he first appeared to you?”

“The first time I was a young child, and I was much afraid; afterwards, he had taught me so well, and it was so clear to me, that I believed assuredly it was he.” (6)….(“Le vrai office de Monseigneur Saint-Michel est de faire grandes revelations aux hommes en bas, en leur donnant moult sainct conseils.” – “Le Livre des Angèles de Diou.”-M.S. in the Biblioteque Nationale, Paris.)

“What doctrine did he teach you?”

“Above all things he told me to be a good child, and that God would aid me to come to the help of the King of France, among other things. The greater part of what he taught me is already in the book in which you are writing: he told me of the great misery there was in the Kingdom of France.”

“What was the height and appearance of this Angel?”

“On Saturday I will reply, with other things which I should answer, as it shall please God.”

“Do you not think it a great sin, and one which offends Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret who appeared to you, to act against their commands?”

“Yes, certainly; and the greatest I have ever committed, in my opinion, has been the leap from the Tower of Beaurevoir; for the which I have besought their mercy, and for all other offenses , I may have done against them.”

“Will Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret take bodily vengeance for this offense?”

“I do not know, and did not ask them.”

“You have asserted that, for speaking the truth, men were sometimes hanged: do you, then, know any crime or fault in yourself for which you should die, if you confessed it ?”

“I know of none.”