Press Review


Jean Vanier – often described as a living saint – speaks to Christiane Amanpour about his life dedicated to creating communities for the disabled.

The Tablet

How are Christians called to live Easter? This week, Jean Vanier reflects. Most Christians think of the Resurrection as a victory of life over death. Finally, Jesus has won. But how did the first disciples live the Resurrection of Jesus? Reflecting on this can help us to see how we are called to live Easter.


Daniel Taylor chose Becoming Human by Jean Vanier as a book he enjoyed reading. “In this profound work, Jean Vanier offers his deeply human vision for creating a community that honours the importance of equality and honours the principle of acting with a common good. It questions our way of being and asks each of us to consider if we are pushing away those that we view as being mentally or physically weak instead of embracing them.


To characterize a film as “feel-good” is usually to dismiss it as butter for the brain – slick, smooth, eminently palatable but probably better in limited servings.

The Guardian

More philosophers should be like the Templeton prize-winning Canadian. His life’s work is not an idealisation or a book, but a community called L’Arche.

The Tablet

What happened when the Queen met L’Arche founder Jean Vanier.

The Tablet

The founder of L’Arche community is spending his days “listening to the birds sing.” Jean Vanier, the Catholic philosopher who founded L’Arche, a network of communities that cares for people with disabilities, has revealed that he is taking a three-month rest in order to recover from a heart attack.

The Spectator

How a visit to an “idiot” asylum inspired the founder of L’Arche.

The Globe and Mail

Jean Vanier created L’Arche – a unique community for mentally disabled adults – to nurture a different kind of life: one focused on connection rather than commerce. More than 50 years later, Ian Brown goes on a journey to understand how simply admitting our weaknesses can make us strong.

CBC Radio

The winners of the Templeton Prize include the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Today, Canadian humanitarian Jean Vanier was added to that list. Vanier is the Canadian founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work side by side.

The Globe and Mail

The ideals of humanity, to say nothing of humanity itself, have been made better by Jean Vanier. The 86-year old Canadian, son of the 19th Governor-General, disenchanted naval officer, restless philosopher and unbounded explorer of the soul, was awarded the $2.1-million Templeton Prize last week for his exceptional contribution “to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.”


The Canadian philosopher and founder of the L’Arche community for people with intellectual disabilities talks about faith, disability and God’s tenderness for humanity.

By Alicia von Stamwitz

Q. – You’ve lived alongside people with intellectual disabilities for nearly 50 years now. What have they taught you about God?

The Economist

There’s a Chinese proverb that goes, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. I thought of it a few days ago as I joined an audience of peers, MPs and policymakers, squeezed into a small panelled room in the House of Lords. We had gathered to listen to Jean Vanier, a tall, white-haired 86-year-old French Canadian whom I wrote about in Intelligent Life last year.

On Being

In October 2007, Krista Tippett flew to Washington DC and drove to the Bishop Claggett Center in rural Maryland for a rare interview with Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche.

Here’s the uncut version of the Speaking of Faith program “The Wisdom of Tenderness” that was filmed in a converted farmhouse. We loved the way he speaks with his whole body, especially his hands.

The Economist

Late in the afternoon of June 22, 1940, Hitler marched into a glade in the forest of Compiègne, 60 km north of Paris. A giant swastika was unfurled as he saluted columns of Nazi troops, before hoisting himself into what had once been the private railway carriage of Marshal Foch. Inside this, on November 11, 1918, the Germans had signed the armistice that ended the first world war.


A few years back I wrote about a man whose work I admire greatly. I believe we can never speak or write enough about such heroes.

It has been said that one true measure of civilization is how well we treat the most vulnerable members of our society.

If there’s one man who truly understands the importance of kindness, compassion and understanding it’s Jean Vanier, the Founder of L’Arche.