The Saint Joan of Arc Chapel is believed to have been originally constructed in the early 1500s. Known as the Chapelle de St. Martin de Sayssuel, it was located in Chasse, a small village in the Rhone River Valley. After the French Revolution the small chapel fell into disarray and was neglected until Jacques Couëlle discovered it not long after the end of World War I. In 1926 the chapel was purchased by Mrs. Gertrude Hill Gavin, who arranged for the transfer of the building to her estate on Long Island, NY. In 1927 John Russell Pope drew up reconstruction plans for the chapel, adding the early Gothic altar and the Joan of Arc stone, alleged to be a stone that Joan of Arc kissed after she stood upon it to pray to a statue of Our Lady. It is said ever since that it is colder than the stones surrounding it. At the reconstruction Mrs. Gavin had Charles J. Connick of Boston design and install four stained glass windows that resemble ones of Sainte Chapelle in Paris. In 1962 Mr. and Mrs. Marc B. Rojtman purchased the estate, and in 1964 they presented the chapel, along with numerous furnishings, to Marquette University. The chapel was dismantled over a nine month period in Long Island and moved to Milwaukee in a fleet of trucks each carrying 40,000 pounds. When dismantled, each stone was marked three times to facilitate reconstruction. Architectural plans for the reconstruction were initiated by French architect Lucien David then revised and completed by Ernest Bonnamy. Some changes to the chapel included lengthening and adding windows to the nave, also adding modern conveniences like electric heating. The university also restored the niche and the tomb of Chevalier de Sautereau to its original place on the left side of the chapel while moving the sacristy to the right side.
Named for Saint Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who led the French army to a number of victories during the Hundred Years' War through visions she received from God. Joan was burned at the stake and later declared a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
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