"...I sent letters to the King (as the Maid), to know if I should be allowed to see him; saying, that I had traveled a hundred and fifty leagues to come to his help, and that I knew many things good for him. I think I remember there was in my letter the remark that I should recognize him among all others. I had a sword I had taken at Vaucouleurs. Whilst I was at Tours, or at Chinon, I sent to seek for a sword which was in the Church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; it was found there at once; the sword was in the ground, and rusty; upon it were five crosses; I knew by my Voice where it was. I had never seen the man who went to seek for it. I wrote to the Priests of the place, that it might please them to let me have this sword, and they sent it to me..."(1)
After enlisting the aid of Robert de Baudricourt, Jeanne left Vaucoulers in the company of a small escort of armed men for the court of the Dauphin. From the 22nd of February for six days they gingerly crossed territory controlled by Phillip of Burgundy. Five days later on the 4th of March they arrived, in Chinon. From the Shrine of Ste Catherine de Feirbois. From there Jheanne sent a letter to Charles, (which no longer exists) in which she stated her intentions and her purpose.
Two days later Charles sent for her. The story, (which I have not found in print) traditionally goes like this, Charles either in order to test her divine mission or as a game, changed hats with on of his hangers on. As Jheanne entered the great hall (which still exists, although with out a roof or a floor.)she was shown to the throne where the impostor sat. Although she did not know the Dauphin she knew that the person sitting there was not he for whom she was sent. Turning she observed a man. Immediately she want to him and falling on her knees, said, "God give you a happy life, gentle King!" "I am not the King, replied Charles, "yonder is he." pointing to the impostor. "You are he, highborn prince and no other." "The King of Heaven sends you word that you shall be annointed and crowned." In private Jheanne told the Dauphin a secret which only Charles and God knew. (This report may or may not have been the words used but are probably close.
Was Charles to believe this? Forthwith he send her to Poiters to be examined not only by prelates and clerics, but by the Nuns and his Mother in Law, the dowager Queen. Once again this does not exist, yet some of her answers do exist in the memory of Suguin Suguin, a Dominican friar who in his resume of the investigation remarked that, "...one could find no evil in her but only goodness, humility, virginity, devoutness, honesty, and simplicity." Of her virginity no less that of Queen Yolanda of Sicily attested to the fact. "...virtue being an up most sign of the Holiness and of Mission from God. "...innocence was the reverse side of the medal of perfect charity. And the cult of the Virgin, which had in the middle ages, undergone the great development with which we are familiar, had accustomed men's minds to the idea of the importance of virginity in the consecrated life..."(2)
Charles VII accepted Jheane and her mission.
Many of the episodes of Jheane's life are apocryphal Other witnesses have reported slightly differing narratives of this episode. Like the Synoptic gospels they all have a portion of the truth but seen from differing locations. More on this soon.
(1) Trial of Condemnation.
After his victory over the Moors at Poiters, Charles Martel (called the Hammer) laid a sword behind the altar at the Shrine of Ste. Catherine de Feirbois as a sign of that victory.
(2) The retrial of Joan of Arc, The Evidence For Her Vindication.
It is a common misconception that Ste. Catherine of Siena was one of the voices of Jheanne. The voice heard by Jheanne would have been that of Ste. Catherine of Alexandria, of whom many parishes were named in the middle ages in her honour. Today she is an almost forgotten devotion, as are many Saints from the earliest times. Her iconography is a virgin and a wheel upon which she was martyred.
The remains of the great hall at Chinon where the Maid first met her Dauphin. The evenly spaced holes under the fireplace indicate put holes for the floor joists. The floor would have been just over that was the place where tha Maid met Charles VII.