Id-Dar tal-Providenza wishes to express its sorrow for the death of Jean Vanier, the founder of the international communities l’Arche and Faith and Light at the age of 90.
Jean visited id-Dar tal-Providenza on the 9th of September 1985, when he was in Malta at the invitation of the Diocesan Youth Commission to be the main speaker at the first edition of ‘Festażgħażagħ’ that was held at the Tradefair Grounds in Naxxar. During his stay in Malta he also gave a series of talks at the Caritas offices in Floriana.
Jean Vanier was a Canadian philosopher of French origin who in 1964 chose to leave behind his academic career and began living with two intellectually disabled men in Trosly in France where he founded the communities of L’Arche. In these communities, intellectually disabled persons together with their helpers shared their life together in small homes in the community. Little by little, with the courage and vision of Jean Vanier, the L’Arche communities in France mushroomed to 152 spread over 37 countries across the five continents. Today, 5,000 disabled men and women are living at the heart of society, can make themselves heard and live in an environment that helps them develop their capabilities to the fullest.
These communities are united in a common vision etched on a set of principles that inspire this work.
Jean Vanier was an inspiration to Fr Anġ Seychell, better know as Dun Anġ, to open his home to persons with intellectual disability which he named ‘Dar Nazaret’. Another home that Dun Anġ opened nearby was appropriately named after Jean Vanier.
Jean Vanier’s message is always an encouragement to build communities of compassion with emphasis on the dignity and value of human life. He stresses that persons with disability not only transformed him as a person but he also sees in them a call to appreciate that difference is a gift and not a threat.
Jean Vanier is also an author of many books.
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