The knife broke
On Friday, March 22, 2019, Father Grou, a Holy Cross priest, as well as rector of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal was attacked during Mass by a 26-year-old man named Van Cristian Eremia. The attack occurred at approximately 8:40 a.m., about 10 minutes after the beginning of the celebration. The congregation panicked when they saw a man wearing a cap and walking with his head down walking straight towards the rector of the oratory and attacking him with a knife. Father Claude Grou was about to read the Gospel when he became aware of the danger. He tried to run away, but the young man managed to catch up with him and stab him twice; once in the chest and once in the side. According to the priest’s testimony, the knife broke during the attack, which probably allowed him to survive. The man was then subdued by security guards and the police took over when they arrived.
The priest was transported to a trauma center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, emergency services said.
In a calm and collected voice, Father Grou shared his feelings during a press conference after celebrating his first Mass since the attack. It’s not uncommon for people to come forward and pray completely in front of the statue of the Virgin,” he said. So I thought it was a person who was coming forward in a rather cavalier way. “
The celebrant became concerned when he saw the individual enter the sanctuary and approach the altar. “I became even more concerned when he got very close to the altar [and] pulled out a knife,” he said, noting that at times like this, reflexes take over reason. “When I was in front of that guy with his knife, for a very short time I thought that maybe this was the end for me,” Father Claude Grou said. In the end, Father Grou suffered “superficial” injuries. He firmly believes that he received special protection from St. Joseph and Brother André.