To proclaim her authority Joan dictated a letter to the English. Far from arguing the disputed question of the king’s right to the kingdom of France, the letter declared that those rights had come from God, who was openly supporting the king through His envoy, the Maid.
Statue of St. Joan of Arc in Chinon
“King of England and you, Duke de Bethfort [Duke of Bedford].… Surrender to the Maid here sent by God, the King of Heaven, the keys of all the good cities you have taken and violated in France. She is come from God, the King of Heaven, to reclaim the royal blood…. As regards you, archers, gentle comrades-in –arms and others entrenched before the good city of Orléans, return to your country in the name of God! And if thus you do not, await the coming of the Maid who will visit you in a little while to your very great hurt. King of England, if thus you do not, I am [a] leader of war and wherever I shall attack your people in France, I shall drive them out even against their will. And if they will not obey, I shall put them to death and I shall do what I please with them. I am come from God, the King of Heaven, to throw you body for body out of France despite those who would betray us or do hurt to the kingdom of France….”
Jehanne D’Orliac, Joan of Arc and her companions, Elisabeth Abbot, trans. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1934), pp. 144-146.
Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 177
Editorial Comment: —
St. Joan of Arc proves that God does intervene in History.
On the eve of her arrival on the scene, one could be forgiven to think that France as we know it would cease to exist, being incorporated to the English crown.
Yet God, the Lord of History, ruled otherwise and sent the Maid.
Her mission was from God and although she was only 18 years old, her words to the English King are invested with an authority that was proven to be divine by her miraculous victories.