A 72-year-old religious sister has been praised for her “extraordinary courage” after she sought to disarm a man stabbing a priest at a Catholic church in Nice, south-eastern France.

Sister Marie-Claude reportedly intervened after a 31-year-old man entered the Saint-Pierre d’Arene church before Sunday Mass on April 24 and repeatedly stabbed Father Krzysztof Rudziński.

She received a wound to the forearm and was taken to a hospital along with the 57-year-old priest.

Local politician Éric Ciotti commended the sister in a post on his Twitter account.

“Extraordinary courage of Sister Marie-Claude who intervened while the attacker continued to stab Father Krzysztof,” he wrote.

“She snatched the knife from him while being injured on the forearm.”

Father Rudziński, originally from Suchowola, northeastern Poland, is believed to have been stabbed up to 20 times, mainly in the chest.

Bishop Piotr Turzyński, the Polish bishops’ delegate for the pastoral care of Polish immigrants, appealed for prayers for the priest and sister.

“In a spirit of solidarity, I commend the health of the wounded to God’s mercy,” he said, according to the Polish Catholic news agency KAI.

Catholics in Nice were targeted in an Islamist attack in October 2020. An attacker stabbed three people to death at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice.

“Once again, a tragedy has struck the Catholic community of the Alpes-Maritimes. And once again, in the heart of the city of Nice,” the Diocese of Nice said on Sunday.