The church where Joan was baptized and attended
Domremy, as a village, is probably not much different in size or layout now then it was 600 years ago. A street scene like this seems timeless:
But there was enough growth to cause the church to be expanded, as did the fame of the girl that lived next door who began to cause travel, pilgrimage, to the village. Only the tower looks like it did in Joan's day, but of course it dominates the structure:
Inside, on display but not pictured here, no longer in use, is the original baptistery over which Joan received that ordinance. Also not pictured is the statue of St. Margaret from Joan's time. St. Margaret was one of the three saints/angels who prepared Joan for her mission in visions, and whose voices advised her until her death. The other two were saints Michael and Catherine.
To see pictures of these things,
and others that I failed to capture in photos, please visit any or all
of these interesting websites (there are many more, of course):
1. St. Joan of Arc Center (by Virginia Frohlick)
2. Her hometown: Domremy-la-Pucelle
3. Old photos, maps, and diagrams of Domremy-la-Pucelle
Entering the church, one immediately notices the colorful inlaid glass windows with scenes from Joan's life, like these over the altar:
I did not attempt close-ups of these three windows because it would have meant crossing a rope barricade. But several other windows were more accessible, like this one showing Joan receiving a sword and escort from Robert Beaudricourt, and preparing to leave Vaucouleurs for Chinon:
At Chinon, the dauphin tried to trick Joan by disguising as a peasant, but Joan walked up to and addressed him as if inspired to see through the ruse:
The dauphin had her examined for orthodoxy, and the court was satisfied that she was not a heretic, allowing the dauphin to believe her visions were genuine even if not specifically saying so:
Triumphant is the right word for her entry into an Orleans that had faith in her, based on rumors that preceded her arrival with the dauphin's army. The siege of the city was wearing on, with no hope of relief until Joan came.
Joan's next triumph, after a spectacular march in which the English army was routed in the open and city after city surrendered, was the coronation, making the dauphin into a full fledged King of France, in the great cathedral at Reims!
After the triumphs leading up to the coronation, things went awry, and she was captured and tried and found to be a heretic (largely because of her wearing men's clothing, but also because she set the authority of her voices above the authority of the church that was trying her). She was burnt alive at Rouen before she had reached her twentieth birthday. A clergyman is holding a crucifix before her as she burns, as she requested.
That is the story told in this village church. But there is another church that tells this young woman's life story, about a mile to the south near the locations where she reportedly often heard her voices. To see photos of this new church, dedicated to Joan in 1926, click on the last link below.
Go back first Domremy page
Go back to second Domremy page
Go to see church dedicated to Joan