“We are born in extreme fragility,
and we die in extreme fragility.
Throughout our lives we remain vulnerable,
and at risk of being wounded.
Each child is so vulnerable, so fragile
and without any defenses!”


On this dayAugust 1964. An irreversible act

When he came to live with Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux in Trosly-Breuil, France, in August 1964, Jean Vanier knew it was an irreversible act. Philippe and Raphaël had been placed in a centre for people with intellectual disabilities. In this asylum as Philippe said:“it had been no life at all: all day long, sitting in a room.”

NewsLove and Belonging: Jean Vanier at L'Arche

In Love and Belonging, Jean Vanier shares his memories of the early days of L’Arche and the spiritual insights its subsequent development has provided.


  • We Day

  • About Intercordia

  • Jean Vanier explains how he set up L'Arche in 1964

  • The Wisdom of Tenderness: an interview with Krista Tippett for On Being

  • Video Clips for Canadian Schools

  • Raphael

  • Jean Vanier in Bethlehem

  • Seeing God in Others

  • Shelagh Rogers in conversation with Jean Vanier about his epistolary memoir (HarperCollins). On CBC radio Canada 2009

  • Living in Community

  • To live with our limits