Jean Vanier was born today in 1928. A French Canadian whose father was a diplomat, vanier initially trained as a seaman. His life however was not to be in the navy but to be called to work with and live with people suffering from mental and physical handicaps.
Vanier settled in a small northern French town after the Second World War. Trosly-Breuil, with a population of around 2,000 became the centre of the L’Arche Movement, the deliberate creation of homes in which able-bodied and intelligent people live with others who experience developmental disabilities.
L’Arche communities can be found in over 80 countries around the globe supported by over 1,800 Faith and Light forums,an international movement of people with developmental disabilities.
It is Vanier’s philosophy of humanity that inspires so many people to work and live in community with others who suffer from severe disabilities.
Taken from any angle, Vanier’s thought challenges the smug verities of our age:
“The fundamental principle of peace is a belief that each person is important. Do you believe you are important? Do you believe-do we believe-that we can do something to make this world a better place? Why is the gap between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless growing? There can be no peace unless we can become aware of where this growing gap comes from.”
Joyeux anniversaire Monsieur Vanier.
– Posted by Douglas Racionzer ( serendipiday.blogspot.com )