Jean Vanier – How to Become More Human

Ten rules of life to become more human


Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche communities, turned 90 last week.

And on the occasion of the Sept. 10 milestone, he decided to share a video message in English that proposes “ten rules of life to become more human.”

Vanier, son of one of Canada’s late governors general, set up his first L’Arche community in 1964 when he welcomed two mentally disabled men into his home in the town of Trosly-Breuil in France.

Today, L’Arche has grown into an international organization of 147 communities in 35 countries. Its aim is to create homes, programs and support networks with and for people who have developmental disabilities.

Key to L’Arche is understanding that whatever one’s intelligence every person has talents to share with others. One of L’Arche’s principles is that being truly together we can be transformed. Together, in L’Arche communities, integrated in local cultures all over the world, it creates ways to live, work and develop networks. In L’Arche, each person participates, helps and receives help. L’Arche is founded on mutual relationships.

Recognized as one of the great spiritual figures of our time, Vanier has given hundreds of interviews throughout his life and has authored 30 books.

But since suffering a heart attack in late 2017, he has mostly been keeping a low profile at the same home in France where he established his first community fifty-four years ago. In this new and inspiring video message, Jean Vanier offers his “ten rules” by sharing his own human story in a very moving way.

Source: International la-Croix


Jean Vanier, the Roman Catholic Founder of the international L’Arche Community, is well-known around the world for his ecumenical ministry to the poor and disadvantaged. Having reached his 90th birthday, Jean is still equipped to offer sound advice to anyone wanting to cope with life and faith in their old age.

As I am rapidly approaching the same milestone age-wise – if not with the equivalent gifts of wisdom – I am keen to hear what this spiritual giant has to say about his own voyage of discovery. May Jean have many more years of life and health with which to educate and inform us all on how best to occupy our time here on earth.

(n.b. In my original post, I showed JeanVanier as ‘Father’ – which was a mistake. I hope this venerable Roman Catholic theologian will forgive my ordaining him ‘ex nihilo’. Fr. Ron)

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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