He was on a pilgrimage; the French press calls him 'the hero with backpacks'

The hero of Annecy: a young Catholic confronted the Syrian citizen who stabbed several children

This Thursday, the French town of Annecy experienced a terrible event when a Syrian refugee stabbed several young children.

Nigeria: 70 Christians are murdered in Gbeji and the massacre meets with media silence
The difference between killing 148 Christians in Kenya and 50 Muslims in New Zealand

The attacker had his asylum application denied a few days ago

This brutal attack has left six people injured, including four children. The attacker is a 31-year-old Syrian citizen who applied for asylum in France, after having resided in Sweden. According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, his asylum application was denied a few days ago.

This crime has reopened the debate in France on asylum applications and the irregular situation in which some applicants find themselves. I don't understand someone asking for refuge in a country and doing something like that. Anyway, I don't think the other refugees deserve to be judged for the actions of a criminal. Each person deserves to be valued for his actions, not for the actions of others. In any case, something has to change in the treatment of these requests, in view of what happened yesterday.

Speculations about the religion of the aggressor

For the rest, and although the Syrian nationality of the attacker initially gave rise to speculation about a possible jihadist attack , Le Figaro has indicated that the aggressor He presented himself as a Christian to the French authorities. According to the newspaper Le Parisien, the attacker declared himself a "Christian from Syria" in November, after requesting asylum. The assailant has no identified psychiatric history and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

I don't know if the attacker is really Christian. I am Christian and can only express my absolute rejection and condemnation of these cowardly crimes, for which I hope that this Syrian citizen spends the rest of his life in prison. Some of the children who were stabbed are in serious condition. Anyway, I can't understand how someone would be capable of doing something like that, especially someone who claims to be a Christian.

Henri, the 24-year-old French Catholic who confronted the Syrian citizen who stabbed several children in Annecy (Photo: Aleteia).

The heroism of Henri, the young Catholic who faced the attacker

About what happened yesterday, I want to highlight a fact that has been published by the French edition of Aleteia. A 24-year-old French Catholic man named Henri confronted the attacker. The young man was on a pilgrimage to several French cathedrals, and he began to pursue the attacker, protecting himself with one of the two backpacks he carried with him, to get the Syrian citizen away from the playground where he stabbed the children.

Le Figaro referred to him yesterday as "the hero with the backpacks". Impossible not to remember another young Catholic, the Spanish Ignacio Echeverría, the "skateboard hero", assassinated while attempting to defend a woman attacked by Islamist terrorists during the London attacks in 2017.

Henri already made headlines in April when he began his pilgrimage through the French cathedrals to claim the impressive and beautiful temples of his country. As highlighted yesterday Aleteia, Henri is a fervent Catholic, enjoys walking and loves France's religious heritage, which he refers to as "the eldest daughter of the Church". Faced with events as terrible as those experienced yesterday, we must not forget that a Catholic who risks his life for others is someone who truly follows Christ, who gave his life for us to redeem us from sin. Thank you, Henri, for the great example you set for us with your heroic performance yesterday.

I wish the injured a speedy recovery. My hugs to them and their families and my prayers for all of them, especially for the little ones. Facts like this fill me with sadness and the act of young Henri, at least, encourages me not to lose hope in humanity.

Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email:

Comment on this post:

You must login to comment. Click here to login. If you have not registered yet, click here to sign up.