French hero who fought off knifeman credits Catholic faith for his bravery 5 months ago

French hero who fought off knifeman credits Catholic faith for his bravery

The man had been on a walking tour of France's cathedrals when he intervened in yesterday's horrific playground stabbings.

The man dubbed the 'backpack hero' by French media has revealed that it was his Catholic faith which motivated his heroic actions during yesterday's playground stabbings in the quaint French town of Annecy.


Four children and two pensioners were stabbed by a Syrian man in a park playground before the 'backpack hero' was able to intervene.

The modern day pilgrim, who is just 24-years-old and would only give media his first name of Henri, was walking by when he saw a mother desperately trying to shield her children from the attacker.

Knife attack France Locals lay flowers at the scene of the stabbings in honour of the victims. (Credit: Getty Images)

Speaking to being in the vicinity of the attack, Henri said that it was God's will that he happened upon the scene and was able to help victims.

"All I know is that I was not there by chance. On my journey to the cathedrals I crossed paths with this man and I have acted instinctively. It was unthinkable to do nothing", the young college student said.

Henri, who is studying philosophy and management, can be seen in video footage trying to block the assailant with one of his two backpacks, pursuing the man into the playground and then throwing one of his bags at the attacker.

As a self-described devout Catholic, the 24-year-old said that he felt a "force" inside him pushing him to act.


"I let myself be guided by providence and the Virgin Mary. I said my adieu. They would decide what would happen", he stated.

Henri refused to take all the credit for halting the attack though, also crediting a number of other young men who he said helped him pursue the attacker and "make sure he could not do what he wanted".

Knife attack France Annecy, which is situated along the France-Switzerland border, is a popular destination for tourists owing to its' natural beauty. (Credit: Getty Images)

Responding to the media regarding the harrowing event, French police said that the Syrian refugee was now in custody and had been detained whilst in possession of a Christian insignia.

Discussing the possibility that the attacker himself was also motivated by his Christian faith, Henri was adamant that the man was not a true Christian.

"It is profoundly unchristian to attack the vulnerable. The entire Christian civilisation on which our country is built is a knightly message to defend widows and orphans. I think that, on the contrary, something very bad inhabited him".

The 'backpack hero' was thanked in person for his courageous acts by French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, before declaring that he would carry on his pilgrimage around the country's cathedrals.

"The beauty of the cathedrals can nourish us and help us do the right thing. Because of these events, I will be able to reach more people. I thank heaven".


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