150+ Canadians Day 128: Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier contributes to peace by creating inclusive communities for people with disabilities. #Canada150

Jean Vanier founded L’Arche in 1964 when he invited two men with intellectual disabilities to live with him in his home in France. There are now L’Arche communities in 35 countries where people with intellectual disabilities live with friends who assist them. A governing philosophy of the communities is Vanier’s belief that people with disabilities are teachers, rather than burdens.

Vanier is internationally recognized for his compelling vision of what it means to live a fully human life and for his social and spiritual leadership in building a compassionate society. He is a respected author with over 20 books to his name. He has received many awards in many countries for promoting peace, faith, and loving communities.

“We must do what we can to diminish walls, to meet each other. Why do we put people with disabilities behind walls?”

Jean Vanier, Massey Lectures, 1998

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