Conclusion of the Theologians at Poitiers

The following was the verdict handed down by the theologians who examined her at Poitiers in March of 1429.


 
"The King, in view of the necessity of himself and of his kingdom, and in consideration of the continued prayers of his poor people to God, and of all others loving peace and justice, could not repulse nor reject the Maid who claims to be sent by God to give him succour, notwithstanding that these promises be only of human endeavour; nor also was he held to believe in her too soon and lightly. But, following Holy Scripture, he must test her in two manners: that is to say, by human prudence, inquiring into her life, as to her morals and of her intention, as said Saint Paul the Apostle: 'Try the spirits, whether they are of God'; and by devout prayer, to require sign of any Divine work or hope by which one may judge that she is come by the will of God. Thus commanded God to Ahaz, saying to him: 'Ask a sign of the Lord'; and similarly did Gideon who asked a sign, and several others.
The King, since the coming of the Maid, has observed and held by the commands and the two methods above named: that is to say, probation by human prudence; and by prayer, in demanding a sign from God.
As to the first, which is by human prudence, he has tested the said Maid concerning her life, her birth, her habits, her purpose, and has kept her near him during the space of six weeks, to prove her to all people, clerks, men of the church, persons of devotion, soldiers, wives, widows, and others. And publicly and privately she has conversed with everyone: but in her has been found nothing evil; only good, humility, virginity, devotion, honesty, simplicity; and of her birth and of her life several marvellous things are told as true.
As to the second manner of probation, the King demanded of her a sign, to which she replied that before the city of Orleans she will show it, and in no other place; for thus has she been commanded by God.
The King, in view of the probation of the Maid - in so far as possible, and no evil found in her, and her reply considered, which is to demonstrate a holy sign before Orleans; in view of her constancy and her perseverance in her words, and her urgent request to go to Orleans to see there the sign of Divine help - must not prevent her from going to Orleans with his soldiers, but must have her conducted honorably, trusting in God. For to regard her with suspicion or abandon her, when there is no appearance of evil, would be to repel the Holy Spirit and render himself unworthy of the aid of God, as said Gamaliel, in a council with the Jews, concerning the Apostles."1
 

Back to the Archive, main page.