WHAT OCCURRED AT THE TRIAL
OF JOAN OF ARC?
After several interrogations, Joan was found guilty of heresy and burned at the stake.
WHO IS SHE?
- Joan was a peasant girl from Domrémy, France.
- She reported having visions of saints and hearing voices, one of which told her to assist the French king with the 100 Years’ War.
- The king gave her command of an army in Orléans. She led the army to several victories. After a failed mission, she was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English. She was then put on trial.
- This image from Antoine Dufour’s Vie des femmes célèbres (1505) depicts Joan on horseback.
The French believed Joan was inspired of God and the English believed she was inspired of the Devil. When put before judges on February 21st, 1431, she was asked about her life at home, age when she left home, and when she first heard the voice of God. She said she heard the voice of an angel several times, which was often accompanied by light. She said the voices told her to go church and do good deeds at first. Later, she claimed to be told several times to go to France to raise the siege of Orleans. When she was asked about Charles, she refused to answer the jury’s questions. From that day to March 24th, Joan was interrogated 12 or more times.
This is a sketch by Clément de Fauquembergue that appeared in the protocol of the Parliament of Paris in 1429. It depicts her as a strong fighter, which reveals a possible motive of her capture: the English feared her power. In this sketch, she wears a skirt and has long hair, possibly to remind you that Joan is a leader, but also a young girl. It was believed that the only possible way for her to have achieved so much is through the work of God. Or in the case of the English, through the work of the Devil.
Jane had to answer around 70 charges, which took two days. Some of her crimes include endorsing letters with the names of Jesus and Mary, claiming divine authority, predicting the future, and wearing men’s clothing. One of her most serious crimes was preferring her own beliefs of divine command instead of those of the church. The trial continued and her 70 charges were reduced to 12. At the end of the trial, Joan of Arc was found guilty of heresy and burned at the stake on May 30th, 1431. While being executed, Joan asked for someone to hold up a crucifix and yell assurances of salvation.
Joan of Arc (1999) - You Want to Confess (MOVIE Clip) [HD 1080p]
Rochester University, "Joan of Arc"
Encyclopedia Britannica, Saint Joan of Arc
Fordham University Medieval Sourcebook: The Trial of Joan of Arc, 1431