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France And The Maronites

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Tbc N. Y. 'Timet, in an artielo on the Kissacrc of the Maronite Chri.-itiuns at .jubauon by the Muhiuimiedans, spuaking if tho probnblo interforenoe of F ranee, at east tur the punishment of the guilty lai-tles, mentions some historical tact, irobably not geaerally known, as an cs)ceiul roasou for the prompt movements if Napoleon in the matter: "The right devolvos apon F ranea ia larticular, trom aucient and traditiouary ;imea. 'The Marouite putriarchs and icople preserve in their archives, with laored care, the documenta which coufirui :hia hercditary right in the roouarchs of Franee. Precious among tliese titloleeds whioh keep alive the Maronite hope in their long-cherishud 'Defender of the Faith' is a letter writen by St Louis him3elf to the Maronito chiufs in the year 1250. Tho ohiefs had sent 5,000 men, ladeu with provisions, to the royal crusader ot Franee, aud in itH letter tít. Louis, aekuowledgiug the timely aid, speaks of thu Marouites as 'a part of tho Frouch nation itself,' au d goos on to say, 'As for ourselves, and those who shall succeed us on the throne of Fraace, we proiaise to give you and jour ptsople the samo protcotion which we give to the Fronch thera■elrea.' In 15A9 a very different Freuch king renewjd the ptomiae of Louis.- Louis XIV gsiva in that yenr a 'protcotion,' undor his own loyal hand, to the Maronite patriarch. Ñeaily a ceutury later - in 1739- Louia XV. snatohsd time enough from the Pumpadour to declare ouce moro the protection of Franca over the Chrlstians of Mount Lebanoo. - When the French moaarchy feil, Franco, with her obligation, sarvived. Bonaparte, beforc St. Joan d'Acre, solemnly recoguized; 'that the Maronites have been Freuch frjra time iunnemorial,' and aa oohotd, after fiva centuries and a half, the spirit and almost the words of tha saintly Louis IX. The Turks themselves have preserved this same ohaiu of Frankïsh inñuence in thoir dealiuga with. tho ilaronites, whom they always address as the 'Frauco-Maronite nation.' And arnong the Marouitea theuiselves, whenever the inass is Cülebrated in the iirosence of a French Cousul, that officer, at the readiugof tho üospel, rises, beariiig his drawn svrord in lm hand, ia aign cf the protection Franco owes to her Syriaa brethren."