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French ‘backpack hero’ to attend Notre Dame Cathedral reopening

Henri, a 24-year-old French man, gained widespread attention as the “backpack hero” after he halted a knife assault at a playground in southeastern France by pursuing the assailant with his backpack. While on a pilgrimage to visit France’s cathedrals, Henri was in Annecy when he witnessed the incident.

National Catholic Register reports:

Earlier this month the story of a 24-year-old French man named Henri, who is being called the “backpack hero,” went viral for stopping a knife attack at a playground in southeastern France by chasing the attacker with a backpack.

Henri was in the town of Annecy during a pilgrimage visiting France’s cathedrals when he witnessed the attack.

Two adults, men over age 70, and four children, all 3 years old and younger, were seriously injured and later hospitalized due to the attack.

As part of a nine-month pilgrimage on foot, Henri is presently engaged in visiting France’s cathedrals. The inspiration behind this journey was his profound shock upon witnessing the fire at Notre Dame in 2019, which motivated him to undertake this pilgrimage as a symbolic tribute to all the cathedrals in France. Following his courageous act, Henri received a grateful message from French President Emmanuel Macron, who extended an invitation for him to join the grand opening ceremony of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris scheduled for December 2024.

Henri is currently on a nine-month pilgrimage visiting France’s cathedrals by foot. He explained that he was shocked after seeing the fire at Notre Dame in 2019 and decided to do this pilgrimage as an “homage” to all the cathedrals in France.

“When we are looking up to the sky and looking at cathedrals and we are filling our spirit with something beautiful and great, we can all act like our ancestors and like Jesus Christ wants us to act,” he said.

After receiving a message of gratitude from French President Emmanuel Macron for his heroic act, Henri was invited by the president to attend the grand opening of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris taking place in December 2024.

Henri said it’s a “great ending” for his pilgrimage, as Notre Dame is one of the most well-known cathedrals in the world.

Read the full article here.

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