By Joan and Arch
After leaving Troyes, Jeanne went on to Chalons with the dauphin and an ever increasing army, men fired into action by her presence, willing to fight at their own expense. Chalons surrendered and they continued to Sepsaults just outside Reims where Charles once again hesitated and the Remois stalled. Joan convinced Charles to move forward and on Saturday July 16, a delegation from the city finally agreed to ally Reims with the royal cause and preparations were made for the coronation the next day!
The entry to the Cathedral, even today, is impressive. Looking up the wide boulevard from the river, the Cathedral fills the square about 1 kilometer ahead.
Reims, October 29, 2012, Photo by Arch Ritter
Jeanne rode up this boulevard with throngs of people crushing forward to see her, more interested in her than the dauphin! At her side was the dauphin, soon to be King Charles along with some 60 members of the Garde Ecossaise and much of her army.
They came into the church together, Joan bearing her standard. When asked at her trial of condemnation about the presence of her standard she replied ‘It had born the burden and it is right that it have the honor.’ When I read this passage to Arch my eyes teared up. After some 600 years, Jeanne is still communicating an important message of affirming what one knows is right even in face of criticism and condemnation from authorities.
We spent time in the beautiful cathedral and went to the service on Sunday morning absorbing the energy of the place and absorbed in our thoughts. The sermon was about the blind man outside of Jerusalem who Jesus restored sight to: where are we blind? When do we lack insight into our actions? I think of Joan and am humbled, inspired to continue on my own path.
We walked to the church of Saint-Remi a few kilometers away where the holy ampulla containing the holy oil used for the coronation is still kept. The church, much simpler than the cathedral, has a special feeling. Jeanne seemed present, at least for us, as we explore the city.
Choir, Abbey of Saint Remi, Reims
Interior Rems Cathedral, from the Choir
The Vesle Canal, Reims Centre
Statue in front of Reims Cathedral, circa 1945