Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche

Jean Vanier has spent more than 50 years as an advocate for the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized persons and for their contributions to making a more human society. His experience and vision for humanity are shared in numerous books, public talks, and interviews including Becoming Human (2001) based on his Massey lectures and the two-part The Rabbit and the Giraffe (2017) on CBC Radio’s Ideas. Vanier and L’Arche in Trosly, France, and Bethlehem are the subjects of the feature-length documentary Summer in the Forest (2016) by British director Randall Wright.

Selected Recognition

  • Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada, 1972
  • Companion of the Order of Canada, 1989
  • The Maclean’s Honor Roll, Canada, 1990
  • Royal Bank of Canada Prize, 1991
  • Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec, Canada, 1992
  • Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France, 1994
  • Paul VI International Prize, given by Pope Jean Paul II, 1997
  • Rabbi Gunther Plaut Humanitarian Award, Canada, 2001
  • Prix Gaudium et Spes, L’Ordre des Chevaliers de Colomb, Canada, 2005
  • Nation Builder Award, Globe & Mail, Canada, 2008
  • Pacem in Terris Award, United States, 2013
  • Templeton Prize, Templeton Foundation, U.S., 2015
  • Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur, France, 2016

Learn more about Jean Vanier on the Association Jean Vanier website.


Short inspirational passages delivered to your email box that will help give balance, perspective and spiritual depth to your day. Drawn largely from Vanier’s best selling books, including Becoming Human, Finding Peace, Community and Growth and Made for Happiness.
Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers, was awarded the 2015 Templeton Prize at an inspirational ceremony at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square London at 6pm on 18th May.
L’Arche in Canada is celebrating by sharing this scrapbook of photos and memories with Jean honoring how he has touched our lives as our teacher, guide, and friend. To say a good word is a blessing, and we pray that Jean will be blessed by our words of love and gratitude on this milestone birthday.