Place du Vieux-Marche’, Old Market Square, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Apparently, Joan’s body was burned three different times, and her burning was prolonged by the sadistic executioners to lengthen her pain and torture.
From The Guardian:
‘What is generally agreed is that Joan’s body was burnt three times by the English and ashes from the foot of the pyre were supposedly discovered in 1867, lurking in the Paris loft of an apothecary .
French scientists, who have been studying those ashes, confirmed (in 2006) that a piece of cloth found among the remains may have been a fragment of Joan of Arc’s gown. A new series of DNA tests of bones and tissue found among the ashes is expected to confirm that they belong to a female.
The most exciting discovery by his 18-strong team at the Hôpital Raymond Poincare near Paris was in the carbon-dating of the piece of cloth. ‘It is linen of high quality and we can confirm that it dates from the 15th century. It could have been a robe or a bag.’
According to historians, Joan of Arc was 19 when she was burnt at the stake in Rouen by the English on 30 May, 1431. She died of smoke inhalation. The Cardinal of Winchester is recorded as having ordered her to be burnt a second time. Her organs still survived this fire, so a third burning was ordered to destroy the body completely. Her cinders and debris were to be thrown into the Seine.
However, in 1867 ashes that were said to include remains of Joan of Arc were found in the Paris loft of an apothecary. These were transferred to a museum in Chinon where they are still kept.
I spent the entire morning at this sacred spot in the Old Market Square. I started at the Rouen Cafe, and then settled closer to where she was burned.
A massive crucifix is placed in the exact spot where Joan was burned alive. Reportedly, Joan asked to be able to see the cross as she was being executed. The last word she screamed was, “JESUS!”
(The bells of the cathedral are ringing now. Sometimes, not knowing the reason, they just ring and ring in these magnificent harmonies. So incredibly beautiful. Those deep, melodic, bellowing tones. Many bells surround the square. Inspiring. And to wake up with them in the morning, ethereal. This is first light today from my window…
Back to Joan. :)
This is the base of the giant crucifix, with the Joan of Arc church and her statue just behind.
And these are ancient stones from Joan of Arc’s time that were left in place at the Old Market Square.
Here’s the tree where I sat under for prayers and meditations this morning…I could see the crucifix through the branches.
So peaceful. Tranquil. It’s Monday, and after the many tourists left from the weekend, the locals were out and about on their bikes; on Mondays, many establishments are closed, I learned brokenheartedly. Still, able to see and explore so much.
When I finally pulled myself away from the Old Market Square, I trekked to find a historical monument where Johanne was tried and convicted, imprisoned, after being betrayed by her country and king, Charles the VII. Supposedly there’s this interactive virtual thing we can take part in, not typically my thing, yet, rave reviews. I found it! Sadly, one of the establishments that are closed on Mondays. Next time. I was able to linger awhile and take in the historic splendor, knowing Joan was there, her energy, her eloquence, your loyalty, and her truth. History shows her arguments were pure in logic, and forthright, often beleaguering the m e n trying to convict her. Their minds were made up, if not, she would have walked free.
Look at these ancient standing stones! Made up for the fact the historical establishment was closed. :) They are placed on each side of the door.
This is the courtyard right next to the historical site. Legal hearings? Council? Not sure.
And these are the two ancient plaques, explaining what transpired with Joan. After her execution, it is here Charles VII said, whoops, our bad. She was declared innocent. Sorry about the burning thing. And in 1920, of course centuries later, not unlike Mary Magdalene, her virtues and faith and historical contribution were recognized, and she was canonized as a saint.
From here, knocked out to learn that at the art museum in Rouen, there are three original paintings by Nicolas Poussin!
Poussin was actually from Normandy, and Rouen is the capitol of Normandy. There’s a statue of him outside the museum…
If you’re following the Dayle in Limoux posts, you know he painted ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ which is based on the sacred geometry in Languedoc and Renne-les-Chateau…the Cathars.
This is a capture from 2019, visiting the site of the ‘tomb,’ no longer there because the owner of the property was tired of the visitors. He destroyed it. Tragically. This photo was taken in Languedoc, aligning with the sacred geometry.
Everything Sir Henry Lincoln wrote about with his co-authors in the book that started the intrigue all over again.
Here’s a couple of YouTube reviews.
Pousinn’s French Baroque style was also considered French Classical tradition. He was a major inspiration for such classically oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Paul Cézanne.
This later version of Et in Arcadia Ego has a far more (sacred!) geometric composition, and the figures are much more contemplative. The mask-like face of the shepherdess echos the Classical “Greek profile”. And! It’s in the Louvre. Someday, when I get back to Paris. Can’t wait. If I lived in Paris, I would go the Louvre every weekend. I would!
Joan of Arc claimed to have communicated spiritually with saints at a rural location some two kilometres from her home. She identified them as Michael the Archangel, St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Margaret of Antioch. The last two saints were virgin martyrs who had refused to take orders from men and, when leading the French army into battle, Joan dressed as a man to avoid prejudice. The spot is well marked. An extremely grand and prominent Basilica was built at the location as late as 1881. Masses are held there every Sunday and great mural artworks portraying her military capacity surround the walls. In the grounds around it, visitors will find impressive sculptures and statues of Joan, the saints that communicated with her and her pious father Jacques, who shaped her childhood. The Basilica is impressive, features a vast spire and can be seen from miles around amongst the local countryside.
Joan of Arc was captured in the city of Compiegne, Picardy at the start of May, 1430. She was held by the conspiring Burgundians who sold her to the English for 10,000 Francs.
Her trial took place in Rouen, the capital city of Normandy. She was convicted of witchcraft and heresy by the English and Burgundian authorities and sentenced to death by burning at the stake in the centre of Rouen on May 30th, 1431. The English executioners apparently went to much trouble to ensure that her death was as slow and distressing as possible. She was just nineteen years old. Twenty years later, a retrial took place in the same courtroom and found her innocent of all charges.
Her exact place of execution is marked by a vast concrete cross. Right next door rests a contemporary church to commemorate her. Digital son et lumiere dramatically presents features of Joan’s life on the face of the city’s Notre Dame Cathedral. The vast Excel walk round cinema on the banks of the Seine River flowing through Rouen, features a similar, stunning feature. The courtroom where she was tried twice, houses an ultra-modern, active digital museum that almost brings her back to life.
Joan of Arc was canonised in 1920 and is the patron saint of France. More than 20,000 books have been written about her. Her persuasion, untaught military skills and undoubted faith in her religious beliefs were extraordinary achievements by one who lived such a short life.
I was able to research and study the Poussin paintings for awhile with the complimentary WiFi in the museum; beautiful structure.
They have a hall dedicated to ‘Heroines,’ too. Many sculpture’s and paintings of Johanne. I’d like to have one of these, please.
And then, from here it was back to the Cathedral to sit in front of Joan of Arc’s chapel. I lit two candles, one each for my two children, William Henry, and Annie Glenn, to keep Joan’s fierce protection surrounding them, and her compassion guiding them.
Look at the light from the stained glass panel.
Some photos from today…captures…and the Cathedral…Rouen is beautiful, ancient medieval architecture with splashes of contemporary color.
Here comes the sun…see it right at the top? 🌞
The clock! From the 1300’s. It still rings at 9:00 at night to signify what was once, ‘curfew.’
And, at night. Tres jolie.
And then, preparation for the light and music show with the cathedral as the giant canvas…on the tallest cathedral in France…✧ * . * ✧ . * . *
. * . * . for the magic. . ✧ .
✧ ✧ * . * . . *. .
✧ * . . ✧ . * . *
This is the Rouen Cathedral of Notre Dame. This year the light and music show runs June 3rd to September 17th. It’s spectacular. Folks say it’s a ‘must-see summer event.’ No doubt. It shares the story of Joan of Arc and the Viking history.
Here’s about 13 minutes someone posted on youtube from this summer. The presentation is about 50 minutes in total. I wish everyone could see it. Incredibly inspirational. We need lots of inspiration on our planet right now. Tell the stories, share the history. Feel what is possible. Thanks be to those who create these beautiful messages when we need them most. Love watching the younger spirits, enthralled, wondering how they will be inspired, what they too will create, sowing those tiny seeds of promise and possibility.
J’adore Rouen. Find the light.
It’s been a day!
On this day, August 5th, in 1163, four Cathar men and a girl were burned for refusing to ‘repent’ after it was discovered they were living in a barn in Cologne and had not gone to church that Sunday. They were called out for heresy and would not deny their Cathar, or Good Christian, faith. So they were thrown into the fire. The story goes that some of the villagers were holding the girl back, trying to protect her, but she would not leave her Cathar brethren. She tore herself away from them and threw her body onto the pyre.
Burnings, you may be surprised to learn, had been very uncommon up to that point, and in the past had sometimes taken place at the request of noblemen for potlical, rather than religious reasons. After 1163, everything changed.
I’ll update soon! My phone went completely dead and it’s taking forever to charge, so I can’t grab my photos. I’ll be back…
(Did you know the first dinosaur eggs to be found anywhere on the planet were discovered in this region of Southern France? One of the many discoveries today.)
Well, an update to the update. I just lost all of my edits…photos…text…two hours just 💨. Poof. Gone. Trying to recover, no luck. Not sure I have the energy to do this all again.
I think, without trying to re-create all my writing, I’ll post photos and give you an idea of the day’s exploration. My phone wouldn’t re-charge, tried outlets and cleaning portals…nothing. Knew I needed a new chord…travel with two or three! I only brought one. So I set out on a reconnaissance mission for a virtual life-line and with the help of a new acquaintance found the store without a sign or a street name. New chord, a charged iPhone, and now access to photos!
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
—John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I’m finding myself drawn to mess, to darkness, to things that are loved to the point of shabbiness, or just wildly imperfect in their own gorgeous way.
Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairy tale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.
Wildly imperfect. My new mantra.
The day started at Saint Martin’s for some time with Mary Magdalene.
Then the marche with wildly imperfect sites and sounds and aromas and people. The Friday markets are the best…blocks of vendors and local foods. Although I reject fish and seafood as nourishment, I had to capture a photo of this sweet man’s Paella. He was so proud to share his creation. It looked amazing!
Found some more incense and then it was time to head for the bus with my €1…public transportation here is the best…and journey to Esperaza. There’s a church there I really wanted to see, dedicated to Mary Magdalene.
I was dropped at the stop and started walking. Finally found the city center, or place [pronounced ‘ploss’] in this sweet little village.
And then, the church!
So much history. I tried to open the door. Locked. Shoot. So I walked around the church and starting taking pictures…
When I walked back around I saw a woman who looked like she just left. What the heck. Tried the door. Still locked. But! The door next to it that looked like a storage closet was open! I was in. As my eyes started to adjust, that’s when I saw it. Mary Magdalene’s grotto. What. My Gaia. So so beautiful.
Mary is revered in Languedoc. For good reason. Will share more later. The history of the church in Esperaza is that it was built in the 1200’s, and one of the old pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela passesd this way, through the mountains and on into Spain. The town lies in the very heart of Cathar country and intersects the sacred geometry in the region. I spent awhile inside.
The flooring! A want for my future French home.
Then it was time to find a taxi and head back to the sacred space of Rennes-les-Chateau.
Found a dinosaur museum!
In this sweet tiny village a dinosaur museum. Pourquoi pas? I mean, who knew the first dinosaur eggs on the P L A N E T were found in this region in Southern France? Crazy.
And this region at one time was more hot and humid than now…tropical, actually. Climate only a dinosaur could love. Also learned that the Ginkgo Biloba trees have been evolving for some 290 million years.
When I went back outside to remove my mask and breathe a bit, somebody sent in this pre-historic bug.
‘To the eternal happiness of all species.’
Found a new number for a taxi service and with the help from the attendants at the museum desk, went out to the road and wait.
Had about a 30 minute wait, so grabbed some Perrier and nuts out of my backpack, grateful for the shade of a beautiful village tree. And a sign. A sign that reminded me it’s my day. :)
Perrier, Blanquette de Limoux, and crème brûlée in the Jardin de Marie at Rennes-les-Chateau. For my birthday! Yep. I celebrated a birthday while in France.
Joyeux anniversaire à moi!
Look closely and you’ll spot another ancient chateau. My heck. They’re everywhere here! The vibrations from Gaia pulsating with history and mystery.
I was able to join a special meditation located in the ancient Visigoth structures, from about 500 CE.
We had live music accompaniment, too. Beautiful. And transcendent. Talk about vibrations…
Then back to Mary Magdalene’s church.
‘She rests at last beneath the starry skies.’
There it is. Mary’s rose cross. l o v e. 🌸
Then it was back to the book store for more books. The young book shop clerk there is so kind and helpful. His name is Adrian. Wonderful softly-spoken sense of humor. It would be so fun to hang with the workers there, discover their stories and lives. I made a discovery through the books I purchased…more music dedicated to the Magdala. Quite lovely. From Ani Williams. Prolific catalogue of music.
Then it was time to call for a taxi and leave the Chateau.
Back in Limoux I had my new books and found a nice little table at the Grand Cafe there on the square, the Place du la Republique, with one of my favorite servers and had myself a yummy little birthday dinner.
Thanks to Hulu, DePauw University, my dentist in Coronado, a pharmacy on the San Juan Islands, and Delta Airlines for all of the birthday messages. :)
August 5, 1163. Will always remember now the young girl in Cologne. The day she was violenty forced to leave the earth, on the date I was welcomed in. jai