Father Claude Grou, rector of St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, was stabbed during a Mass March 22. The motive for the attack remains unknown.

He was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition, said a statement from the Archdiocese of Montreal.

During the 8:30 a.m. Mass in the crypt, a tall, light-skinned man wearing a white hat walked toward Father Grou and stabbed him in the stomach.

“At the end of the psalm, just before the … Gospel, there is this guy who comes from who-knows-where — I only film the front of the crypt — and who moves rather quickly,” said Dinh Khoi Vu, who directed the morning Mass at the Oratory for Salt and Light Television.

“Father Grou saw him coming with his knife. He had the reaction to move to the side, but he was still touched,” he added.

“The knife fell. The aggressor was no longer able to pick it up. Many faithful rushed to hold him back. ”

Father Grou got up, and members of the security service managed to control the attacker.

Fifty people were gathered in the crypt of St. Joseph’s Oratory.

“Father Grou left the oratory, sitting in a wheelchair,” to the applause of some people, relieved to see that he was still conscious, explained Vu. Father Grou left the oratory in an ambulance.

“He was sitting. He was conscious, “said Celine Barbeau, spokeswoman for the oratory.

Police closed the crypt and questioned witnesses.