Joan of Arc’s Letter to the Hussites (1430)


Jesus, Mary

For a long time now, common knowledge has made it clear to me, Joan the Maiden, that from true Christians you have become heretics and practically on a level with the Saracens; you have eliminated the valid faith and worship, and taken up a disgraceful and unlawful superstition; and while sustaining and promoting it there is not a single disgrace nor act of barbarism which you would not dare. You corrupt the sacraments of the Church, you mutilate the articles of the Faith, you destroy churches, you break and burn statues which were created as memorials, you massacre Christians unless they adopt your beliefs. What is this fury of yours, or what folly and madness are driving you? You persecute and plan to overthrow this Faith which God Almighty, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have raised, founded, exalted, and enlightened a thousand ways through a thousand miracles. You yourselves are blind, but not because you’re among those who lack eyes or ability to see. Do you really believe that you will escape unpunished, or are you unaware that the reason God does not hinder your unlawful efforts and permits you to remain in darkness and error, is that the more you indulge yourselves in sin and sacrileges, the more He is preparing greater suffering and punishments for you?

For my part, to tell you frankly, if I wasn’t busy with the English wars I would have come to see you long before now; but if I don’t find out that you have reformed yourselves I might leave the English behind and go against you, so that by the sword – if I can’t do it any other way – I will eliminate your false and vile superstition and relieve you of either your heresy or your life. But if you would prefer to return to the Catholic faith and the original Light, then send me your ambassadors and I will tell them what you need to do; if not however, and if you stubbornly wish to resist the spur, keep in mind what damages and crimes you have committed and await me, who will mete out suitable repayment with the strongest of forces both human and Divine.

Given at Sully on the 23rd of March, to the heretics of Bohemia.