GARCHES, France (AP) — A team of experts plans a series of tests to determine whether Joan of Arc’s supposed remains — a rib bone and some skin — may indeed have belonged to the 15th-century French heroine burned at the stake after a trial for heresy.
It is thought that the ashes of Joan of Arc, now a saint and a legend, were thrown into the River Seine. However, a few remains were reportedly recovered from the pyre where the 19-year-old warrior was burned alive.
The tests, which will take six months, will not be able to say with certainty that the remains are Joan of Arc’s, because there is no known DNA sample from her to compare the bone and skin against, said Dr. Philippe Charlier of the Raymond-Poincare Hospital in Garches, west of Paris.
But the analyses will determine with "absolute certitude" if the remains are not hers, he added at a news conference.
The complexities are numerous. Charlier said Joan of Arc was actually burned three times May 30, 1431, following her trial in the Normandy town of Rouen. She initially died of smoke inhalation and when she was burned a second time, internal organs were not fully consumed by the flames. Nothing was said to remain after the third cremation except her ashes.
The rib bone measuring some 15 centimetres is wrapped in a blackish substance, and is "remarkably well preserved," said Charlier.
"We will first have to assure that this rib corresponds with a 19-year-old woman," with DNA testing used to determine the sex, he added. [Source]
Whoa, this all seems like such a stretch! To go so far to prove that something MIGHT be something but definitely, possibly isn’t something…for sure? Seems like someone’s got a whole heck of a lot of time on their hands!
Too bad (Bl. ?)Sr. Anne Catherine Emmerick isn’t alive any more. She was able to just touch a bone or object and tell you what saint it belonged to with complete certainty.
I wonder if they’ll use the same labs that carbon dated the Shroud of Turin? They’ll probably tell us that the relics are forgeries from 1956, and that the rib bone actually belongs to Edith Piaf.
Completely bogus. The English and their perfidious bishop, Pierre Cauchon, would never have taken the chance that there were actual remains of Joan left to be venerated. To the partisans of Charles VII she was already a living saint. Relics would have even more power. There is no way to tell if bits of bone are her are just some other sad character who just happened ot be burned there.
. . . Joan of Arc was actually burned three times May 30, 1431, following her trial in the Normandy town of Rouen. She initially died of smoke inhalation and when she was burned a second time, internal organs were not fully consumed by the flames. Nothing was said to remain after the third cremation except her ashes.
Is it too late to get angry about this?
Typical, some scientific tests that at worse will say, “Your relics are a fraud,” and at best well say “I guee we’ll never know.”
Re: Agnes Sorel bit in news story —
What, a famous medieval beauty who needed her looks to live, and she died of mercury poisoning? Oh, that’d never happen!
Mercury was used in cosmetics from Roman times on.
Part of the legend of Joan of Arc is that her heart would not burn. There are even statements from her executioner saying this.