The Vision and the Voice: Jeanne d’Arc – Warrior, Maid, Witch and Heretic

Jeanne d’Arc with Banner and Sword

“Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it…and then it’s gone. But to surrender who you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying – even more terrible than dying young.” ~ Jeanne d’Arc.

‘The Maid of Orléans,’ was burned at the stake on the 30th May 1431, as a witch, a heretic and a traitor.

She was just 19.

Image: Helmeted head of a late Gothic saint’s statue, in the past widely held to have been modelled after the likeness of Jeanne d’Arc.

The Prophecy

“France will be lost by a woman and saved by a virgin from the oak forests of Lorraine”

Her legend preceded her. It evolved long before the humble girl, Jeanne d’Arc was born. The writings of Bede and the ‘Prophecies of Merlin’ by Geoffrey of Monmouth, asserted the mythic prophecy of a humble young maid from the Oakwoods of Lorraine who would rise to become a sacrificial saviour of France. Riding a white stallion and attired in blazing armour, the vision was completed by a legendary blade, a sword of note, brandished by this remarkable heroine.

Image:The Prophetic MS

The alleged prophecies of Bede and Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth were widely circulated in manuscripts (1)

Jeanne d’Arc was born an illiterate peasant into a farming family at Domrémy, Lorraine, a pastoral backwater surrounded by oak forests, easily visible just over a mile away. Unsurprisingly, Jeanne’s visions caught the attention of the local clergy, when as a young girl she began experiencing spirit visitations. These were identified as the archangel Michael (the patron saint of Charles Valois, the Dauphin of France), Saint Margaret, a local saint, and Saint Catherine (of Alexandria), a dedicated family saint. This was entirely in keeping with local custom and folkloric tradition.

http://www.kommunicera.umea.se/hemma/mathias/

In reconstructing her life from local records, it would seem that around noon in the heat of high summer, Jeanne, a mere girl of 13, was drafting wool on her drop spindle whilst tending her father’s sheep on the land between their house and the church. To her left beneath the great tree beside the church, she saw a great light and had a vision of the archangel Michael, surrounded by other angels. Local traditions notwithstanding, it is probable that her first vision occurred on a ‘fast’ day, adding credence to the circumstances that collectively facilitated her envisioning. Lack of food, the heat, monotonous activity (spinning) are certain inducements to trance. 

In the weeks that followed, the same vision appeared before her many times, and they spoke to her of a great destiny. Jeanne found refuge in her voices as the Hundred Years’ War continued to ravage northern France.

She maintained the voices were sent by God to be her guides, to direct her mission to deliver northern France from English domination, and to see the Dauphin, Charles of Valois crowned as the rightful King of France. A peace treaty brokered by England in 1420 had effectively disinherited the Dauphin, amid accusations of his illegitimacy, that placed King Henry V as ruler of both England and France.  

Jeanne had witnessed several local raids during her childhood, sometimes by free-booters and opportunists with no allegiance to either side. Henry of Orly, was one such soldier of fortune, whose ragged band lived off local plunder.  As local towns were laid to siege, the occupants of Jeanne’s village were temporarily forced to abandon their homes under threat of invasion. When they returned, many homes were burned, and their livestock stolen.

Her visions continued for three more years, by which time Jeanne reached a marriageable age. The rejection of suiters and an arranged marriage accelerated the immediacy of Jeanne’s mission; her persuasive zeal convinced a local court that she should not be forced to accept the match. At the tender age of 16, Jeanne took a vow of chastity, declaring that her mission required her to be a ‘Maid.’ Urged into action by the intensity of her voices, she was pressed to approach Robert of Baudricourt, the garrison commander at Vaucouleurs to gain an armed escort to see the Dauphin at Chinon. She convinced Baudricourt that without her by the Dauphin’s side, Orléans would fall, and France would be lost to the English.  Her persistence attracted a small band of followers who may have been familiar enough with the prophecy to support her claims to be the Maid of France.

According to Jeanne’s loyal captain who escorted her, Jean de Metz, she had boldly stated that “I must be at the King’s side (…) there will be no help (for the kingdom) if not from me. Although I would rather have remained spinning [wool] at my mother’s side (…) yet must I go and must I do this thing, for my Lord wills that I do so.”

It was considered prudent that her journey through hostile Burgundian territory should be undertaken disguised as a male soldier, a necessity later used against her. “I was admonished to adopt feminine clothes; I refused, and still refuse. As for other avocations of women, there are plenty of other women to perform them.”


Image: Drawing of Jeanne d’Arc by Clément de Fauquembergue (a doodle on the margin of the protocol of the parliament of Paris, dated 10 May 1429. This is the only known contemporary representation of her.

Records provide various testaments to Jeanne’s clairvoyance and prophetic vision whereby she warned individual soldiers of their imminent deaths. For example, as she entered the Castle at Chinon where Charles Valois resided, a soldier cursed her; she responded “Ah, you make light of God, and yet you are so near your death.” He drowned that day.Arriving in the Great Hall, her voices singled out the Dauphin (Charles Valois) from his courtiers amidst whom he was concealed. Jeanne predicted to him the deliverance of Orléans, and ultimately of France, and of his victorious consecration as the King at Reims.

“When I entered into the chamber of the King,” said she, “I recognized him among the others on account of my Voices, which revealed him to me.”

Image: The Sword of Charles Martel

In private converse, Jeanne shared with him the words to a prayer he’d spoken to god in his private chapel, and informed him she had retrieved the lost sword of Charles Martel, the grandfather of Charlemagne. This prized relic was previously lost to an obscure burial, behind the altar of the church of Sainte Catherine de Fierbois. Renowned for its miracles, this wasa popular place of pilgrimage, for soldiers especially.  Baudricourt had offered her a sword, which she declined, saying that the right sword would be found for her.

For Jeanne, the sword meant much more than a weapon, it was a symbol of the legend, a mythic element that roused the motivation and resolve of the soldiers who followed her. Under direction from Jeanne’s voices, an armorer was sent from Tours to find it. Buried for a long time, it was rusty and not sturdy enough for combat. (2) Once polished, it represented absolute and uncompromising Victory, a symbol that was ultimately drafted into her Coat of Arms. According to legend, it had five crosses on the blade.

Image: Jeanne d’Arc Coat of Arms

The Fierbois sword was lost after the failed siege of Paris, though an unsavoury rumour claims it was broken in half after Jeanne used it to chase away camp followers.

A relief expedition to Orléans early in 1429 was required, and gaining the Dauphin’s approval, Jeanne asked for permission to travel with the army. The Dauphin’s mother-in-law, Yolande of Aragon, confirmed Jeanne’s virginal status, then astutely provided Jeanne with a white horse, gleaming armour and a golden banner of France, in keeping with the prophecy. In addition, Yolande financed a small entourage from her own purse.

From her guides, Jeanne was also gifted with the remarkable ability to foresee certain events; indeed, she forecast her own wounding during an attack of Tourelles, 7th May, 1429. She was also aware her fame and status would be short-lived. A letter preserved in the archives of Brussels, relates to her prophecy. On the eve of the battle Jeanne declared that: “Tomorrow my blood will be shed.”  Jeanne insisted that the King should not delay his departure for Reims, repeating, “I will only be with you for one year. It is needful, then that you use me to the full.”

Contemporary sources acknowledge Jeanne’s heroic role and mystical presence, and of a certain enchantment that radiated from her. As predicted, she was indeed wounded by an arrow that pierced her flesh between the neck and shoulder while holding her banner outside les Tourelles. This did not prevent her return to encourage a successful final assault on the fortress. The English retreated from Orléans the next day, and the siege was over. Jeanne had lifted the Siege of Orléans in just nine days. The Anglo-Burgundians, were defeated by Jeanne’s forces and were compelled to retreat back across the Loire River.

Image : Jeanne d’Arc with Banner, White Horse and Golden Armour

Taken from the many quotes in her letters, her motto could have been:“I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”

Jeanne also advised the Duke d’Alencon, of his imminent death by cannon; heeding her warning, his life was spared:“Gentle Duke,” she cried, “retire from where you stand, for if not that cannon down yonder will be the death of you.”  Sadly, the Lord of Lude who replaced him, was killed immediately. As Jeanne was rallying the troops by the walls at Jargeau, her strong helmet withstood a stone missile, miraculously saving her life.

Several swift victories followed suit, allowing Charles VII to receive his promised coronation at Reims in 1429, which substantially weakened the Anglo-Burgundian claim to France. Although some distance from the front lines, Jeanne later sustained another wound when a crossbow bolt lanced her thigh during her failed bid to liberate Paris. Jeanne’s permission from the King allowing her to seize Paris, was delayed. Under possible advice from his court favourite, Georges de La Trémoille that Jeanne’s growing popularity may eventually become a threat to the King’s, precious time was lost. In the meantime, the Anglo-Burgundians fortified Paris and successfully repelled Jeanne’s September assault.

Just six months later, in the spring of 1430, orders from King Charles VII, bade Jeanne to block a Burgundian assault on Compiégne. During the melee, her horse threw Jeanne as the town’s gates closed to protect its inhabitants. Left outside, she was defenceless. The delighted Burgundians took Jeanne captive to a nearby stronghold at the English held Rouen. Jeanne never left. A year later she was dead. Her short meteoric rise had indeed served its purpose.

Madness?

Jeanne’s descriptions of her visions are vivid and quite lucid. She asserted that a bright light often accompanied them and that their voices had greater clarity when church bells were sounded. Some experts have suggested that certain details Jeanne has provided, appear to allude to possible neurological and psychiatric conditions, which are known to trigger hallucinations or delusions. These include brain lesions, epilepsy, migraines, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia!  Others posit that drinking unpasteurized milk from immature cattle can cause bovine tuberculosis, a condition that generates seizures and dementia. However, due to a lack of credible symptoms, and contemporary testimonies, these speculative diagnoses are highly improbable; Jeanne remained in good health and of sound mind to the time of her death.  

Jeanne was neither mad nor ill.

Others have championed the veracity of her pure envisioning. Ralph Hoffman, a professor of psychology at Yale University, has argued that visionary and creative states, including ‘hearing voices,’ are not necessarily signs of mental illness. Moreover, Jeanne never wavered from her faith in “King Jesus, King of Heaven and of all the earth, my rightful and sovereign Lord.”

But the speculation doesn’t end there. Revisionist theories about Jeanne d’ Arc contradict the official account of her life and death considerably. One claim doubts Jeanne’s existence at all, except as a work of later fiction designed to boost 19th century French nationalism. Another claim reveals the popular rumour also made during the 19th century, that Jeanne d’ Arc was the illegitimate daughter of the Queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, and Duke Louis of Orléans, hidden in pastoral Domrémy with the d’ Arc family. Presumably, this would mean that when Jeanne met the Dauphin, she would have indicated some sign to him, by which he could recognise her as his half-sister Hence the elaborate political ploy that necessitated her capture, false death and secret escape to bamboozle the English!

Some venture further, asserting her guilt for the valid charges of heresy; others suggest that occult reliquaries from charred bones and clothing were circulated into nefarious cultic factions. There is even a claim that a substitute was executed on the blazing pyre in her stead, and that she escaped to found an occult secret order linked to Gilles de Rais, a knight and leader in the French army. Rais had been a stalwart champion and companion-in-arms to Jeanne. His military brilliance was cruelly tarnished by his alleged confession and conviction (under extreme torture) as a serial killer and sexual abuser of children, mostly boys. For these and other crimes involving, heresy, sorcery and necromancy, Gilles de Rais, the former Marshal of France, was hanged over a smouldering pyre in 1440.

Lingering doubts concerning this verdict, initiated counter-arguments based on the notion that Gilles de Rais, was also a victim of an ecclesiastic plot or act of revenge by either the French State, or the Catholic Church, through the Inquisition. That the Duke of Brittany, who was given the authority to prosecute, received all the titles to Rais’ former lands after his conviction, is particularly damning evidence in support of his wrongful execution.  

In the early 20th century, anthropologist Margaret Murray recognised the trial patterns and interrogation methods. Murray argued that Jeanne’s and Gilles’ condemnations as ‘witches’ was in fact correct, and that their (alleged) exploits could be explained by their adherence to a surviving current of paganism under the veneer of Catholicism. Murray further posited that Jeanne and Gilles were recognised by the peasants, military factions and nobility, as leaders of this ‘Old Religion,’ the superstitions and prophecies of which allowed them to enchant their followers, who practically worshipped Jeanne as the ‘Maid of France,’ sent by god to liberate them.

Murray explained that:“Gilles de Rais was tried and executed as a witch and, in the same way, much that is mysterious in this trial can also be explained by the Dianic Cult.” (3) Controversial occultist Aleister Crowley likewise questioned the involvement of the ecclesiastic and secular authorities in his case. Crowley described Rais as “in almost every respect (…) the male equivalent of Joan of Arc,” whose main crime was “the pursuit of knowledge.” (4)  Speaking for the academic consensus who consider Gilles de Rais to be a depraved heretic, Norman Cohn argues that Murry’s and Crowley’s views are not supported by the records of Rais’ crimes and trial.(5)

Much to the chagrin of academics and historians, Rais’ trial and conviction were overturned in 1992, when Freemason Jean-Yves Goëau-Brissonnière, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, set-up an unofficial ‘court’ composed of former French ministers, writers lawyers, judges and UNESCO experts, all of whom were directed to re-examine the medieval source materials. Gilles de Rais was declared ‘not guilty.’ The contentious hearing, was partially turned into a fictionalized biography called ‘Gilles de Rais ou la Gueule du loup’ (Gilles de Rais; or, the Mouth of the Wolf). It is narrated by the writer Gilbert Prouteau. “No child’s corpse was ever found at his castle at Tiffauges and he appears to have confessed to escape excommunication (. . .) The accusations appear to be false charges made up by powerful rival lords to benefit from the confiscation of his lands.” (6)

None of these theories are considered credible by academic historians.

Murray’s assertion that the destruction of Jeanne’s mission was a deliberate manoeuvre by the Catholic Church which gained for them substantial victory against the surviving pagan cult, is at least borne out by fact. The Church did reclaim a great deal of authority and influence after the cessation of the Hundred Years’ War.

Nonetheless, the official version of Jeanne d’Arc’s life is no less fantastic.

Jeanne possessed a famously volatile temper; having little humour, she had wit aplenty! Her extreme piety and zeal was unmatched by even her most ardent followers. The Maid of Orléans had no tolerance for indecent or improper behaviour, swearing, theft, skipping Mass, condescension or cowardice. She had no compunction in metering out punishments for transgressors.

During her trial, Jeanne stated that she didn’t properly know her last name. Growing up in Domrémy, a village in north-eastern France, it is clear that the references to d’Arc, was properly associated with her father’s place of birth. Jeanne has explained that her father, a farmer, was called Jacques d’Arc. The assignation of it to Jeanne, was evidently an English scribal error in its assumption that she would take her father’s surname. Over time, d’Arc became further Anglicized as Darc or Tarc.

Jeanne’s mother, a devout Catholic, was named Isabelle Romée (also known as Isabelle de Vouthon). Unusually, it was a French custom in Lorraine for daughters to assume their mothers’ surnames. In medieval France, family surnames were very rarely fixed, and could vary considerably: Romée,’simply designated a person who had made a pilgrimage to Rome (or another place of religious significance). Similar adjustments have been made to Jeanne’s christian name, which was properly spelled: Jehanne d’Arc, Jehanne Tarc, Jehanne Romée or possibly even Jehanne de Vouthon. To her family, she was known simply as Jehanne, or Jehanette. To herself, only as “Jehanne la Pucelle” (‘Joan the Maid’) once her mission began.

Jeanne d’Arc had been caught in the furore of a protracted dispute over the French throne, whence destructive raids and trade embargos devastated the economy of France, reeling still several decades later from the ravages of the Black Death. The Maid’s incredible sincerity and conviction pulled the moral of the French army from its deep fugue, tipping the balance, which led eventually to France shaking off the English yoke of its oppressors. This was no mean feat; without Jeanne’s fearless heroism, the English were certain to establish a dual monarchy in France under English control.

Although Jeanne outlined military strategies, proposed diplomatic solutions to the English (which they rejected) and directed troops, Jeanne never actually fought in battle or killed an opponent. That was neither her role, nor her destiny. Marching alongside the troops brandishing the banner of France, infused them with spiritual succour; her bright presence and passionate speeches spurred them on to victory. Her charm and grace inspired thousands of soldiers to bravely follow her.

Because of her remarkable actions, Charles VII granted her family the official arms of nobility. Their arms were: Azure, a sword per pale argent, hilted or between a crown in chief, and two fleurs-de-lys of the last. (7) The inherent symbolism is striking.

Though only a slip of a girl, a mere shepherdess with no military training, Jeanne’s military prowess is legendary. Envy was rife at court as countless knights fell under her spell. Her influence and power became a matter of concern to the extent that when Jeanne was captured on the 23rd May 1430, at Compiègne by Burgundian allies of the English, the court initially hesitated to extend protection to her. Headed by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon, her trial began based on a variety of (trumped up) charges. To the English, the ability of this peasant girl to defeat their armies was regarded as proof that she was possessed by the Devil.  She was mercilessly interrogated for her alleged crimes.

As legal proceedings against her began at Rouen, two attempts to free her were made by her loyal Armagnacs over the Winter of 1431. Both failed. According to 15th century sources, Charles VII was incensed by Jeanne’s trial and execution, and threatened to “exact vengeance” in retaliation upon captured Burgundian troops, especially to all“the English and women of England.” (8)

During her trial, the subject of Jeanne’s visions was paramount. She testified over and again as to their veracity, to her own piety, and of her mission deliver France from the invading English and establish Charles of Valois, the uncrowned Dauphin to the French throne, as the country’s rightful king.

Jeanne d’Arc’s fascinating visions intrigue us still, attracting considerable analysis as to their origin. Many Catholics regard her them as authentic, divinely inspired, even. Numerous scholars cede to a consensus that her faith was sincere. Her trial transcripts that might have recorded the details of her visions are problematic because Jeanne rejected standard procedure, in defence of the conflict it would place on the integrity of her oath both to the King and to God. Jeanne abjectly refused to answer questions relating to her visions. We cannot know to what extent surviving records are fabrications, possibly falsified at the time to protect state secrets.

Incarcerated in a dank, musty cell, for months, her relentless captors quizzed her about the source of her voices, in their endeavours to make her slip. Failing to make the charge of sorcery stick, they turned to the intriguing markings on her silver ring. Inscribed with three crosses along with inscriptions ‘IHS’ (Jhesus) and ‘MAR’ (Maria), the devotional ring was a gift from her parents, possibly for her communion.  It had been noted that before battle, she stroked the ring on her finger and muttered under her breath, actions she explained were part of her devotions to god, performed in honour of her father and mother.

Cardinal Henry Beaufort, uncle to the ruler of England and France, King Henry VI, presided over the trial and execution. Jeanne’s martyr’s ring was taken by the Cardinal to England where it remained for almost 600 years. Passed down through the Beaufort family for centuries, the religious relic was presented as a gift by one of the Cardinal’s descendants, Lady Ottoline Morrell, one of the ‘Bloomsbury Set,’ to her lover, the (Welsh) artist Augustus John, who sold it in 1914, at the onset of the Great War to The Royal Armouries. (9)

Witchcraft featured in the charges brought against Jeanne d’Arc, but that is not what condemned her.  Of the 70 charges brought against her, ranging from sorcery to horse theft, an ecclesiastical court in Rouen were forced to whittle them down to around a dozen. Focus was centred upon her virginity and on her impropriety for imitating a man, a crime based in the biblical proscription against it. Her judges were particularly horrified by her cropped hair that mimicked the style adopted by her knightly companions.  

The procedure was a travesty of such proportion, the trial records provided the grounds for overturning the verdict two decades later. In short, they were illegal and violated inquisitorial rules. It was entirely partisan and lacked jurisdiction. Having no adverse evidence, Jeanne should have been released. Politics demanded otherwise, and so her interrogators had to rely upon theological traps, all of which Jeanne navigated with astonishing wit. The finest example occurs in a scholarly principle of faith: for when asked if she knew she was in God’s grace, she answered, “If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest creature in the world if I knew I were not in His grace.” (10) Church doctrine declared that no one could be certain of being in God’s grace. This was a trick question she should have had no hope of answering correctly. Whichever way she answered (yes or no), she admitted heresy or guilt accordingly. At every turn, she out-manoeuvred them.

Documents were falsified or substituted, and informations within, manipulated against her, often in contradiction to the court records. Her incarceration should have been under supervision of nuns, not male guards. She was denied counsel and appeal to the Pope. Under threat of immediate execution, she was forced to signed an abjuration document her illiteracy precluded her from grasping the connotations of.

Fending off several attempts of rape and molestation, Jeanne was reluctant to surrender her male clothing, that bound breech to shirt by a series of ties. The woman’s dress she was forced to wear after her abjuration, offered no such protection. Just a few days later, Jeanne told a tribunal member that she was forced to resume wearing her soldier’s garb as “a great English lord had entered her prison and tried to take her by force.” (11)

Heresy was a capital crime only in cases where the offense was repeated, thusshowing the accused to be guilty of a relapse in their oath. The Jury now had her, despite the point of law that allows for ‘cross-dressing’ if a necessity to safety, according to Catholic doctrine established by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica.

Overwhelmed by the light and beauty of her visions, Jeanne exhibited classic exstasis. Moved to tears, Jeanne was faithful to them until the last breath expired from her choking lungs. Declared guilty, her head was shaved in keeping with the sentence of heretic. Tied to a huge wooden pole, she was burned alive without reprieve or mercy. Horrified crowds gathered around her in the cobbled market square at Rouen, (Normandy was then under English rule) to witness this gross miscarriage of justice, nothing more than an expedient act of politics. Once engulfed by the flames, the English insisted that the coals should be raked back to expose her charred body, ensuring that her death was under no ambiguity. To prevent foraging for relics, her remains were burned twice more, until her thrice-burned body was reduced to ashes which were cast without ceremony into the Seine River. Her executioner, Geoffroy Thérage feared his own damnation for burning a holy woman.

Her fame only increased after her martyrdom, and even after her grisly execution, rumours she was still alive were circulated by several people, including her own brothers, for notoriety and for the elaborate gifts procured from those bewildered by the miracle. Nonetheless, once the war drew to its close, a petition was raised at the request of Inquisitor-General Jean Bréhal and Jeanne’s mother Isabelle Romée, for a posthumous retrial in 1455. As the English no longer posed a threat, a nullification trial was sanctioned by Charles VII to clear her name. Pope Callixtus III was actively engaged in the proceedings that condemned Jeanne’s former trial according to canon law. A secular vendetta had convicted an innocent woman on an errant issue of doctrinal law relating to a (biblical) clothing technicality. Investigations concluded it void, and her conviction was reversed – 7 July 1456.

Declared an innocent, she was added to the official roll of martyrs.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a helmet (of the right period) with a legendary attribution to Jeanne d’Arc. The site of her home in Domrémy-la-Pucelle is now a museum. The medieval church is much altered but still contains a 14th century statue of Saint Margaret, that Jeanne undoubtedly prayed before. The royal castle at Chinon where Jeanne met Charles VII, is now a ruin.

The Jeanne d’Arc museum at Chinon, France has a charred human bone fragment that is reputedly hers. Discovered in a Parisian Apothecary in 1867, in a jar along with a cat femur, a shard of carbonized wood and some charred linen. Apparently, because of the superstition associated with witches’ familars, it was standard medieval practice to throw black cats onto the pyre of ‘witches.’ Forensic analysis has indicated that the human bone is actually from a Ptolemaic mummy, possibly brought back during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign.

And though highly acclaimed for her martyrdom in 1456, by Pope Callixtus III, she was not Canonized until the 16th May 1920, by Pope Benedict XV. (She had been Beatified on the 18th April 1909, by Pope Pius X) Her Feast Day is officially the 30th May. She joins the ranks of several other visionaries and warrior saints of France: Saint Denis, Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Louis, Saint Michael, Saint Rémi, Saint Petronilla, Saint Radegund and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

Jeanne d’Arc was a tragic pawn in a political arena, that martyred her on one side, and demonised her on the other. Undoubtedly a naive idealist, and national icon, she was also a spiritual mystic who inspired many hundreds of men to follow her into battle. A true heroine to her faith and people, she rightly stands amongst the ranks of other martial saints. Her patronage extends to all political martyrs, particularly to military captives; or those ridiculed for their faith and piety; soldiers and most poignant currently, women who have served in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and Women’s Army Corps.

She bravely raised the guiden pole to rally others to her cause, bore the banner and armour of her faith, and challenged the injustices of her time with her words and her sword, and this undoubtedly makes her a true heroine, and more – Jeanne d’Arc is the role model to aspire to, to follow! And yet, her light stands in contrast to those who would extinguish all that is true, and pure and beautiful in the world. I cannot help but ponder on the minds of the those who claim to represent the highest states of spirituality and faith, yet put politics and power, the trivia of ‘self’ before the highest Truth. If those people are willing to sacrifice one of their own, as they clearly did here with Jeanne, then ‘True’ faith is not only thin on the ground, but more precious than life itself……….

“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”

  1. See: https://www.jeanne-darc.info/biography/prophecies/
  2. See: https://www.jeanne-darc.info/biography/sword/
  3. See: Murray, Margaret. The Witch-Cult in Western Europe. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. pp. 173–174. Gilles de Rais was tried and executed as a witch and, in the same way, much that is mysterious in this trial can also be explained by the Dianic Cult. (1921)
  4. Crowley, Aleister. The Banned Lecture: Gilles de Rais. New Orleans, Louisiana: Black Moon Publishing. (2011)
  5. Cohn, Norman. Europe’s Inner Demons. London: Pimlico, (1973).
  6. By Paul Webster, (17 June 2013). “From the archive, 17 June 1992: Rehabilitation of France’s Bluebeard”. Retrieved 16 February 2017 – via The Guardian.
  7. https://www.jeanne-darc.info/biography/coat-of-arms/
  8. https://www.jeanne-darc.info/trials-index/
  9. https://www.jeanne-darc.info/biography/finger-ring/
  10. https://www.jeanne-darc.info/trial-of-condemnation-index/
  11. https://www.jeanne-darc.info/trial-of-nullification/

~ by meanderingsofthemuse on May 16, 2020.

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