Footnote 507

According to at least two sources, the content of this prayer was the famous secret revealed to Charles by Joan of Arc in order to convince him to believe in her.
The two accounts we have concerning this prayer differ somewhat on the details, as follows:

Lord Boissy, as related by Pierre Sala, gave a brief summary of the prayer which omits many of the details given by the second source farther below, although Boissy was said to have heard the account from Charles VII himself. Sala's version reads: "The King, being in this extremity, entered one morning alone into his oratory and there he made a humble petition and prayer to Our Lord in his heart, without utterance of words, in which he petitioned devoutly that if so it was that he was the true heir descended from the noble House of France and that the kingdom should rightfully belong to him, that it please Him to keep and defend him, or, at worst, to grant him the mercy of escaping death or prison, and that he might fly to Spain or to Scotland which were from time immemorial brothers in arms and allies of the Kings of France, wherefore had he there chosen his last refuge." (Pernoud's "Joan of Arc By Herself and Her Witnesses", p. 53)

The Orléans Manuscript gives a more detailed version (the scribe is doing the narrating here): "And although in the Chronicles that I have seen, there is no mention of the following matter, I have long ago heard it told, not just once but on a number of occasions, by great personages in France, who said that they had seen it in an authentic account written in those days. And I have decided to include it here, not only on account of the authority and the reputation of the teller but because it seems to me that it should be remembered.
After the king heard the Pucelle speak in this fashion, he was advised by his confessor or some other to speak to her secretly, and ask her how he might know for certain that God had sent her to him, in order that he might more certainly trust in her and put faith in her words. This he did.
She answered, 'Sire, if I tell you things so secret that they are only known to God and yourself, will you believe that I am sent by God?'
The king answered yes. The Pucelle asked him, 'Sire, do you not remember that last All Saints' Day, when you were in the chapel of the château of Loches, all alone in your oratory, you made three requests of God?'
The king replied that he well remembered having made these requests. Then the Pucelle asked him if he had ever revealed them to his confessor, or to anyone at all. The king said no. 'And if I tell you what were the three requests that you made, will you believe in my words?' The king answered yes.
Then the Pucelle said to him: 'Sire, the first request that you made to God was when you prayed that if you were not the true heir of France, it might be His pleasure to take from you the desire for this heritage so that you might no longer be a cause of the war to recover the realm, from which has come so much evil. The second was when you prayed that, if the great adversity and tribulation under which the poor people of France suffer and have suffered so long, come by reason of your sin, that it might be His pleasure to relieve the people, and that you alone might be punished, and bear whatever He might be pleased to inflict, be it death or any other penance. The third was that, if it were the sin of your people that caused these miseries, it should be His pleasure to forgive them and soften His wrath, and free the realm from the tribulation under which it had suffered for twelve years and more.'
The king, recognizing that she told the truth, put faith in her words and believed that she came from God; and had great hope that she would aid him to recover his kingdom; and decided to accept her help and to believe her counsel in all his affairs." (from the Orléans Manuscript (Scot's "The Trial of Joan of Arc", pp. 28 - 30). Original French printed in Quicherat's "Procès...", Vol IV, pp. 257 - 259).

For other sources, see:
Pernoud's "Joan of Arc: Her Story", p. 24.
Paine's "Joan of Arc: Maid of France", Vol. I, pp. 89 - 90.

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