JEANNE des ARMOISES

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Born 1407-died 5/20/1431

    There were several Jeanne D’Arc (Joan of Arc the Maid) imposters.  Jeanne des Armoises was the most genuine. Was she an imposter or was she the real St. Joan?  These were challenging times for France.  The Maid battled for France and immortalized on May 30, 1431, when she was burned at the stake for being a heretic.

For two years Jeanne of Purcelle fought for France with distinction and commanded a battalion of troops.  She was the mother of two children, and at one time was reprimanded for impurity.  She responded, “My value is not dependent on virginity.” Who among us has not made that cry?   Five years after the execution she appeared in Orleans with her knighted husband.  The brothers of The Maid accepted this Jeanne and spent a lot of time, drink and money with her.  As of 1436, Orleans stopped celebrating the death of Jean and apparently, they accepted the new Jeanne.

Now this Jeanne was either inspired or maybe the Maid.  There was always hope that Joan had escaped the pyre, and there was a rumor there was a young imposter that had replaced Joan at the stake.  There are no drawings of the Maid and no photos in the Enquirer.  The town of Orleans should have known her and her brothers should recognize their sister.  It appears the Jeanne partied down and cranked out a bunch of letters all over the place.  She was receiving a pension from the government.  M. Anatole France offers a theory that the brothers were really after money, and they saw what they wanted to believe.  When they met Jeanne, she told them she was their sister, and that was good enough.

Ten years after the execution her death was still in question.  Jeanne visited the King, and as there was speculation the officials tried to present an imposter as the king.  Jeanne was not fooled.  The story continues that the King and Joan had a secret that they shared with no one else, and it involved a prayer.  When he asked for the secret, Jeanne knelt, confessed her sin and cried for mercy.

She was sent to prison for five years, and released in February 1457, provided she bear herself honestly in dress and other matters, as a woman should do.  There is a document from an inquisitor dated 1440 speaking regretfully about the one who got away. Was that Joan or the imposter Jeanne?

RECIPES TO FOLLOW THIS WEEK.  She can be cooked (again) this weekend.

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