Mar 04

Here is the challenging story of a man who left his privileged background and a career, opened his home to mentally challenged people, and set up 147 healing homes of love in thirty-seven countries, including four in India.

A Jesuit friend calls him ‘a living saint.’ The 90-year old Canadian Catholic, who has served in the Navy, learnt and taught philosophy, is today known as the founder of L’Arche Homes across the world that provide loving care and a new life for the mentally challenged.

Jean Vanier is the son of Major-General Georges Vanier, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1959 to 1967. His mother is Pauline Vanier. He was born in Geneva while his father was the Canadian ambassador in Switzerland. He studied in Canada, England and France. At the age of thirteen, he joined the Royal Navy in England. Forced to flee along with his family to Paris to escape the Nazis, he spent the War years at an English naval academy, as he looked forward to a career as a naval officer.

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Fr M A Joe Antony SJ

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