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Jean Vanier – The intellectually disadvantaged can teach us about freedom

May 23, 2015              from Rome Reports  – 3 minutes

The 2015 Templeton Prize was recently awarded to Jean Vanier, who founded L’Arche in 1964. His organization provides homes and support programs for people with intellectual disabilities. During the ceremony on May 18th, Vanier explains the importance of community in creating a mission for people by helping them build concern, and love for each other. He also talks about the advantages of living alongside those with intellectual disadvantages; as they allow us the freedom to be “crazy”, teach us patience, and love; helping us to release ourselves from the need for power, and to build a more peaceful world.

Jean Vanier    L’Arche            Rome Reports Community     Templeton Prize

Jean Vanier CC GOQ (September 10, 1928 – May 7, 2019) was a Canadian Catholic philosophertheologian, and humanitarian. In 1964, he founded L’Arche, an international federation of communities spread over 37 countries,[1] for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. Subsequently, in 1971, he co-founded Faith and Lightwith Marie-Hélène Mathieu, which also works for people with developmental disabilities, their families, and friends in over 80 countries. He continued to live as a member of the original L’Arche community in Trosly-Breuil, France, until his death.[2]

Over the years he wrote 30 books on religion, disability, normality, success, and tolerance.[3] Among the honours he received were the Companion of the Order of Canada (1986),[4] Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (1992),[5]French Legion of Honour (2003), Community of Christ International Peace Award (2003), the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award (2013), and the Templeton Prize (2015).