Jean Vanier is 90; the work he established has brought community to thousands with mental and physical disabilities
Vanier suffered a heart attack in October 2017 and has been resting since then, with periodic treatment. He has lived until recently at the small L’Arche home in Trosly-Breuil (Oise, France).
Vanier told Aleteia last September: “Today, I have no future, but I am happy in the present. At every moment.”
“Give us attentive hearts”
For decades, the work he founded has accompanied thousands of people around the world: In 2018, L’Arche in France had 4,000 members, including 1,800 disabled people and 1,150 volunteers.
His prayer, “Give us attentive hearts,” is recited daily in the homes of L’Arche:
O Mary, give us attentive,
humble and gentle hearts
to welcome with tenderness and compassion
all the poor you send to us.
Give us hearts full of mercy
to love them, to serve them,
to extinguish all discord
and to see in our suffering and broken brothers
the presence of the living Jesus.
Lord, bless us with the hands of your poor.
Lord, smile at us in the eyes of your poor.
Lord, you receive us one day
in the happy company of your poor.