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Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois church and Joan of Arc's super sword

The church | Peter Potrowl / CC-BY-SA
Parish church Joan of Arc Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois church

A wild wood, a Maid...

Charles Martel raised the first chapel dedicated to saint Catherine, after his victory against the Saracens. The place where this chapel was raised was known as Fierbois, ferus bocus, ("wild wood″). And Martel let a little souvenir here, just behind the altar… aaaah, what’s this?? If you want to know it, you have to wait a young girl’s coming, a famous Maid… Joan of Arc, of course!

From Lorraine to Touraine

The aforesaid Maid came from far away: dusty, filthy, riding for days her muddy horse, she was exhausted. She needed rest! She left her native Lorraine from Vaucouleurs) on February 23th 1429, going towards Chinon to see the dauphin. And now, she arrived and stopped in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois, in Touraine. Saint Catherine… great, it turned up at the right moment, thought Joan. Because Catherine was Joan’s loyal patron saint, the one who talked to her about her mission, the one who went with her wherever she went. A real friend! Maids’ patron saint, too. So Joan could pray a lot, here: hey, Catherine’s relics were buried here...

Joan’s sword

In search of the lost sword

The Maid stayed 3 days in Fierbois, from 4th to 6th March 1429. Housed in the hospital raised in 1400 by the famous French marshal Boucicaut for the pilgrims on the road to Compostela, she wrote a letter to the dauphin, which said: ″I rode 150 leagues to see you, and I have some terrific news for you.″ But for the moment, Joan needed rest: in a few days, she would besiege Orléans and expell the English from the city… She would also pass by Tours and buy her armor. But what about her sword? Pretty handy, to fight... Robert de Baudricourt, in Vaucouleurs, gave her one rough one, same thing for the dauphin who gave her one. But Joan did not want those weapons… She refused to handle them! Her voices murmured her things, meanwhile… She had to get a famous sword, hidden somewhere in Fierbois. And not a vulgar sword! Charles Martel’s one, who fought here in 732 against Saracens after his victory in Poitiers.

My precious...

Joan sent a messenger in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois, to look for the sword. Hey, her voices were right! The messenger found it in the church. But it was rusty! Joan simply rubbed a linen on it and it was shiny after… 5 crosses even appeared on the blade! People from Tours gave her a golden case but she declined: it was too luxurious for her! She made her own leather case… Anyway, the sword helped Joan in all her fights!

About the the author

Vinaigrette
I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!