Patriarch Estephan Doueihy
In May, the Muslim troops marched to conquer Jebbet-Bcharre. They came up from the east of Tripoli in Hayrona valley, besieged Ehden, and conquered it on the fortieth day, during the month of June. They looted its houses, killed its inhabitants and reduced the citadel in the center of the village and the fortress on the top of the mountain into ruins. After that, they marched to Bqoufa and conquered it in July. They arrested its leaders and burned them inside their houses. They looted the properties and reduced Bqoufa into ruins as well. After having killed the inhabitants of Hasroun and Kfarsaroun in the church, the Muslim troops marched on August 22nd to Hadath el-Jebbeh. The inhabitants fled to ‘Assi’ (an impregnable grotto) and hid in that cave that had a water tank. The soldiers killed the citizens who tried to follow the people who hid in the cave. Muslim soldiers destroyed Hadath, built a tower in front of the cave and hid in these towers to plot against those who were inside the caves. They then destroyed all the places which had difficult access.
When the Muslim troops could not conquer the Haouqa assi in the outskirts of Hadath, Ibn Al-Sabha from Kfarsaghab suggested directing the spring that was above Bcharreh, to pour into the grotto and flood it. They conquered it with the water strategy because it was on the internal side of the cliff. The Muslims allowed Ibn Al-Sabha to wear a white turban and granted him slaves as servants.
After the troops returned, he repented and built the monastery of Our Lady of Haouqa near the tower that was located on the cliff.
On Monday, March 12, 1307, the governor of Damascus, Aqūsh al-Afram, marched with 50 thousand troops and men to the barren mountains of Kesserwan, facing Beirut.
The troops surrounded the mountains from all sides. They invaded the villages, razed the field to the ground, wrecked churches, killed and captured many of the locals, including Druze, Christians and others. Those mighty mountains were devastated and their inhabitants were humiliated.
In 1365, Jacob the bishop of Ehden, wrote at the end of the gospel he copied in March 1677 (that the King of Cyprus headed with his troops to Alexandria, looted its properties, killed its men and captured the children. This had enraged the Muslim Sultan against the Christians, so he imprisoned the leaders of the church. Bishop Jacob was with them, but Jesus Christ helped him escape and he copied the gospel while hiding. The gospel consists of 27 quires written in Syriac and Karshouni. It has been protected until our day at the monastery of Qannoubine, which was also home to the Patriarch of Antioch, Gabriel. During persecutions, he hid in his village Hjoula, in the Byblos district. Because of him, the governor of Damascus wrote to the ruler of Tripoli, who captured 40 men from Hjoula and ordered them to bring the Patriarch. In early April, the ruler of Tripoli ordered to burn the Patriarch in Taylan outside of Tripoli.
On February 22nd 1439, the inauguration of the council took place in Florence. The letters of Patriarch John and the Maronite people of Mount Lebanon and Jerusalem were presented to Pope Eugene and the attending righteous fathers, so he named him Patriarch of Antioch and blessed him, through his messenger father Farajuan Wardian with the pallium, the mitre and a beautiful cope, which matched those of whom preceded him.
In October and November, father Farajuan and his companions arrived in Tripoli, and when news of the ecclesiastical communion between the patriarch and the Pope spread, the city was filled with joy and celebrations that the ruler of Tripoli arrested father Farajuan and his companions because he imagined that the King of Rome had entered the land of the Franks and the council had only taken place to plot how to seize the Holy Land from the Sultan of Egypt. Then Patriarch John had asked some people to bail and release them. After father Farajuan and his companions went to the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouk, they gave Patriarch John the letters of the Pope and the Pallium, then headed to Beirut. Upon the command of the ruler of Tripoli to meet them, and after their refusal to do so, the ruler invaded the monastery, captured the monks and the bailsmen, burned their houses and killed some of the community’s leaders.
Extract from Tawtal, F. (1951). Patriarch Estephan Doueihy: Tarikh al Azmina (History of times). Beirut.
This text was written by the Maronite Patriarch Estephan Doueihy who died 1704 AD in Qannoubine valley.