Please pray for this priest!
Fr. Claude Grou, rector of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada, was attacked and stabbed by a 26-year-old suspect while celebrating Mass on Friday morning.
There were approximately 50 people in attendance while Catholic network Salt + Light Television live-streamed the daily Mass.
Here’s the video of the attack. Warning: contains disturbing images.
Security guards captured the suspect and he was arrested. Witnesses said they have never seen the man before. Investigators do not yet know the motive.
An ambulance brought Fr. Grou to the hospital with minor upper bodily injuries. Reports said he is expected to survive.
Oratory volunteer Adele Plamondon said she “thought [the suspect] was going to kneel in front of the Saint Joseph statue” when he “rapidly walking towards the centre.”
“He quickly came up the stairs, taking a big knife out of his side and I soon realized what his intentions were, so I ran out of the church screaming to alert the security,” Plamondon told Canada’s Global News.
Plamondon said she also talked to Fr. Grou after the stabbing.
“I said, ‘Saint Joseph protected you.’ He said, ‘I think he did.’ He was in shock,” she explained.
Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal issued a statement regarding the incident.
He thanked God that that Fr. Grou’s “life is not in danger.”
The archbishop offered his prayers and support to Fr. Grou’s family, his religious order (the Congregation of the Holy Cross), the volunteers and employees of St. Joseph’s Oratory, those present at the Mass, and all the faithful.
He also thanked the emergency responders for protecting Fr. Grou.
“We are all shocked by an act of violence taking place here in a place dedicated to peace.
“We know that places of worship of different religions are targets of violence. We want to continue on paths of peace and love, believing that we can overcome evil with prayer and good,” Archbishop Lépine said.
The Archbishop continued, “I call everyone to prayer and peace. I encourage all the faithful to continue to practice their faith together in their churches.
“Let us pray to Saint Joseph and believe in peace.”
St. Joseph’s Oratory also reported that Fr. Grou will survive and asked for prayers.
Here’s the their Twitter announcement:
St. Joseph’s Oratory’s tweet reads, “Following the unfortunate incident that occurred this morning at 8:30 am at the crypt, we confirm that the life of Father Claude Grou, rector of the Oratory, is out of danger. We invite you to pray for his speedy recovery,”
Please pray for the protection of all priests!
[See also: Stop Apologizing for Being Catholic]