Two suspected Islamist extremists burst into a church in Western France during Mass in 2016 and killed Father Jacques Hamel, the 86-year-old priest.
A bishop said at a memorial service that “hate has not triumphed.’’
President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe were among those attending the anniversary mass for Hamel at his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
The crowd attending the service overflowed from the small church, with many worshiping outside.
“No, hate has not triumphed and it will not triumph,’’ the archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, told those in attendance.
On July 26, 2017 two 19-year-old attackers entered the church as Hamel was celebrating mass and took six hostages, including three nuns.
Hamel died of knife wounds to the throat and chest.
One of the nuns managed to escape and call police, who killed the assailants after trying to negotiate.
The Islamic State extremist group later claimed responsibility.
More than 230 people have been killed in attacks in France, mostly claimed by Islamic State, since early 2015, but Hamel’s killing was the first to take place inside a church. (NAN)