Rev. Prof. Emeritus Frances Young

“Jean’s remarkable ability to move to wider insights, which bear upon the human condition in general and the conditions for humanity to live together in peace, form the particular experience of living with persons with learning disabilities. (…)
He would never claim any great achievement for himself, yet there can be no doubt that his work has produced a kind of ‘prophetic sign’, pointing to new possibilities for the global human community. At the heart of Jean’s thinking is the recognition that peace means an ability to welcome those who are different. (…)
In his presence I have seen people grow in stature and confidence. (…)
The extraordinary thing […] is his capacity for attention, his concentration on whoever is with him… and his ability to draw out their best qualities, to show them that they are valuable and have gifts to give to others, no matter how weak or small they may be. This is the healing quality that makes it possible for people to receive peace from him, and so become peacemakers.”

Rev. Dr. Gerald A. Arbuckle

“Jean Vanier has been able to highlight the dignity of all peoples, no matter what race or religion they come from, especially those with learning disabilities. (…)
He teaches us that everyone has a gift of life to offer the world, in fact those with learning disabilities can be significant teachers because they call us to acknowledge the vulnerability within each of us. The more we discover this the more we realize how much we need one another – surely a foundation for lasting peace.”

Prof. William Gaventa

“His work has been a call to a profound re-examination of the usual understandings of strength, power, and knowledge, and the ways in which human identity is in fact warped when we do not recognize our own weakness, vulnerability, and limits.”

Prof. Tom Reynolds

“For over 50 years, his extraordinary vision and work have helped countless people across the globe find their way into love and life. (…)
Vanier’s way of living with and caring for some of the weakest and most vulnerable in society – i.e., people with intellectual disabilities – stands as a ray of light and hope in the world. (…)
His leadership and vision reflect a deep spirituality of healing and community that is rooted in Christian faith but which cut across many faith traditions to touch something profound in the human spirit: the capacity that human fragility and weakness have to empower relationships of mutual giving and receiving, cultivating the deepest currents of solidarity and love. (…)
For Vanier, the antidote to violence is not peace through strength and security, which shuns or hides weakness based on fear, but peace through shared vulnerability. (…)
His is a life that embodies what it proclaims. (…)
His message is not about abstract ideas, but about living in relationships with people. (…)
He invites those in his presence to ‘become human’, not as an expert academic but as a fellow human being who is also ‘becoming human’. (…)
His lack of pretense, his simple and heartfelt way of being with people, makes hospitality real. (…)
Vanier’s is a call to inclusive community. (…)
Vanier summons us to a vulnerable communion. (…)
Genuine healing happens here, not in miraculous cures, but through mutual respect, care, and love. Paradoxically, vulnerability becomes a source of strength and wholeness, a place of reconciliation and communion with others. (…)
Vanier offers a vision that is interreligious in stretch. The message of neighbourly love and hospitality for stranger is the moral heartbeat of many of the world’s great faith traditions. (…)
The work of Vanier symbolizes hope for a more inclusive and human future. (…)
Vanier’s gentle wisdom is an uncommon gift for humanity in a time of uncertainty, conflict, and peril.”