Selections on Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc & Johann Nider
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Saint Joan of Arc (circa 1412-1431) is one of the most famous women in history.A national heroine of France and a Catholic saint, Joan was a young peasant in France during the Hundred Years’ War. Joan asserted that she had visions from God that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans, where she was instrumental in lifting the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne. Joan, however, was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old. 25 years after the execution, Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
Johann Nider distinguished himself as preacher and as inquisitor. In 1431, the year Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, Nider was called as a representative to the General Council of Bâle and entrusted later with an important embassy on behalf of that Council. His Formicatius and Preceptorium show him as a learned, pious, and naturally kind-hearted man; but he was also a zealous witch-finder. His account of St. Joan and of other unnamed visionaries of his time survived, and they are of great interest as showing the ideas of a German inquisitor, who had far better sources of information than most of his contemporaries, as to the action of his fellow-inquisitors in France. The Extracts is taken from the edition of Formicatius published at Douai in 1602. Nider wrote the book between 1431, when he joined the Council of Bâle, and his death in 1438.
This edition of Selections on Joan of Arc includes extracts of statements made by Joan of Arc herself as well as the writings of Nider.