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‘You will not have my hate’: Antoine Leiris on losing his wife in the Paris attacks

In 2015 the world watched in horror as ISIS released its hatred on the streets of Paris. Antoine Leiris lost his wife to their bullets. But he didn’t lose his heart to hate. He resolved to focus his energy on loving his son, not attacking his attackers.

Let’s do likewise. Offer to others the grace you’ve been given. It’s time to forgive, just as God, in Christ, forgave you. This is how happiness happens.


On Friday evening you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred.

I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are dead souls. If this God for whom you kill blindly made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife is a wound in his heart.

Antoine Leiris & Son
So no, I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you. You want it, but to respond to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.

You would like me to be scared, for me to look at my fellow citizens with a suspicious eye, for me to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You have lost.

I saw her this morning. At last, after nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when she left on Friday evening, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years ago.

Lovely family

Of course I am devastated with grief, I grant you this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will be with us every day and we will find each other in heaven with free souls which you will never have.

Us two, my son and I, we will be stronger than every army in the world. I cannot waste any more time on you as I must go back to my son who has just woken from his sleep. He is only just 17 months old. He is going to eat his snack just like every other day, then we are going to play like every other day and all his life this little boy will be happy and free. Because you will never have his hatred either.

Antoine Leiris

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