The story of Father Jean-Marc Fournier was reported by Christian journalist of French Catholic Television station KTOTV, who revealed the chaplain went into the burning cathedral to retrieve relics and art before they could be damaged by fire and falling debris. Reports state the priest formed a human chain to carry the items away from danger.
Following up that report, the Katholiek Nieuwsblad states Fr Fournier has a history of Christian mission under dangerous circumstances. The newspaper reports he responded with the fire brigade to the 2015 Bataclan terror attacks in Paris, where Islamist extremists killed 90 with rifles and suicide vests at a rock concert in the city, where he was “quickly on the scene after the attack… he helped remove the wounded from the hall and prayed with the bodies of the victims.”
The priest also served as a chaplain to the French army and survived an ambush in Afghanistan where ten French soldiers were killed.
Television network Sky News reports the remarks of one member of the Paris emergency services who said of the chaplain: “Father Fournier is an absolute hero.
“He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the cathedral, and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day, and shows no fear.”