24 year-old Henri d’Anselme is a religious French young man, who is touring his country visiting Cathedrals. While on his spiritual search to be nourished by the beauty of these temples, he was faced with a hellish situation, in the Alpine town of Annecy.
A deranged Syrian migrant, armed with a knife, was attacking women and children. Confronted with the nightmare scenario, the devout Catholic student rose to the occasion, confronted the attacker, helped avoid a much bigger tragedy, and now has been lauded as a hero.
“It happens that on the way to the cathedrals, I unfortunately crossed the path of blood.”
“A modern-day pilgrim on a walking tour of France’s cathedrals told journalists on Friday his Catholic faith gave him the strength to fight a man who stabbed four children in a park in Annecy.
Dubbed ‘the backpack hero’ – ‘le héros au sac a dos’ – by media, the 24-year-old who only gave his name as Henri said he was near a playground when he saw the man attacking children in a stroller as their mother tried to shield them on Thursday.
[…] ‘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 philosophy and management student told CNEWS.
Video footage shows him trying to block the assailant with one of his two backpacks, pursuing the man into the playground and throwing one of his bags at the attacker.”
d’Anselme said that he felt a strong 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.”
“Henri d’Anselme, that’s his name, uses his bag as a shield to protect himself from stab wounds, while shouting to witnesses: ‘Help me control him!’
‘If you were to go into battle, you wouldn’t take it first. He weighs 50 kilos all wet, he’s a big pole and he’s afraid of heights. But this Thursday, he put his phobia of danger aside in a flash’, states one of his friends, Benjamin Poret.”
He took a year out of his studies to do a ‘Tour de France of cathedrals’ which he relays to his 6k TikTok subscribers.
“[d’Anselme] says he ‘unplugged his brain’ and acted ‘like an animal’. But ‘if there is a lesson to be learned from my action, it would be to tell people that anything is possible, from the moment you stop wanting to be passive in the face of such attacks’.
[…] He was therefore logically one of those present when [French president] Emmanuel Macron came to the prefecture in Annecy this Friday, June 9. The Head of State hailed each ‘hero’.
And when it was his turn, Henri made a somewhat special request: ‘I have a small request to make of you. At the moment I am touring the cathedrals of France and I would be honored to attend the inauguration of Notre-Dame de Paris’.
At this request, the President assured him that he would be invited. ‘It’s a commitment. I take care of it personally.’
Here is the video of Henri d’Anselme confronting the Syrian child stabber.
Via French TV