JEAN VANIER

Jean Vanier photoJean Vanier, the son of former Governor General George Vanier and his wife Pauline, was educated in England and Canada. After eight years in the Royal and Canadian Navy, he went to study in France where he received his doctorate in philosophy. He later taught at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Deeply moved by both the poverty and the beauty of people with developmental disabilities, Jean experienced a call from God to share his life with them. In 1964, he bought a small house in the medieval French village of Trosly-Breuil and invited Raphael and Philippe, two men with developmental disabilities, to begin living with him. From this humble, heartfelt and inspired beginning, L’Arche has grown to include more than 149 communities in 37 countries around the world organized as the International Federation of L'Arche. Jean also co-founded Faith and Light, another international network of communities in which families with developmentally handicapped children come together for mutual support, encouragement, prayer, and celebration. With many bestselling books and humanitarian awards to his name – including the Pope Paul VI International Prize, the International Peace Award, the Companion of the Order of Canada and the 2015 Templetom Prize – Jean has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has been called “a Canadian who inspires the world” (Maclean’s Magazine) and a “nation builder” (The Globe and Mail). Jean continues to live in Trosly-Breuil where he remains a vital part of this original L’Arche community. Jean Vanier website Faith and Light website

Templeton Prize website