James Towey

“Jean Vanier has brought peace by affirming and safeguarding the human dignity of the disabled while prophetically challenging society to recognize our need for relationship with them.”

Dr. Rowan Williams

“Transcending faith and culture to speak with transforming possibility into the experience of the most vulnerable human persons, without ignoring the darkness and suffering that this entails, and lifting spirits and lives across continents in the process, is not only no mean achievement, especially for a truly humble man; it is utterly extraordinary. (…)
We need people who know what it is to live, not without fear, but unafraid. (…)
In a world that knows how to divide and feel divided, we need people who know how to live as one, to embrace diversity, to enjoy and help others enjoy the beauty of our common humanity. (…)
We need people like Jean Vanier who not only have learned to understand the anxiety of being human and fragile, but also the joy of being human and fragile. (…)
If people are to make the choice against violence in their lives, both those who live precariously and those who are used to power and wealth, they need to know what peace, reconciliation and human flourishing – especially in the most unpromising circumstances – looks like.”

Dr. Balfour Mount

“Jean is a man of towering intellect, global vision and impressive insight. His integrity is immediately evident on first meeting him, as are his gentleness and deep humility. To encounter Jean Vanier is to confront our human potential for thoughtfulness, compassion and sparkling joy in living. (…)
What impressed me most was to see how he looked at the individuals to whom he was talking. Here was radical presence! It seemed to me that he looked, not at their persona, but straight into their Deep Centre. I had never seen anyone look at another like that. Here was a true healer! (…)
The examples Jean has given the world through L’Arche, Faith and Light, and Intercordia, are beacons of hope for a world on the edge.”

Bernie Farber

“In the Jewish tradition we speak of an individual like Jean Vanier as being a ‘mensch’. This is a special honour recognizing the unique qualities of a man who has devoted so much of his life to those whose lives are filled with unique challenges. (…)
Our sages tell us, ‘he whose deeds exceed his wisdom is like a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many. Even if all the winds of the world come and blow upon it, they cannot move it from its place.’ Jean Vanier has, through his wisdom and deeds, ensured the roots of tolerance, decency and understanding have been well planted.”