Pope says he called L'Arche founder last week; thanks God for "having given us this man"
On his return flight from Macedonia, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for Jean Vanier, who died May 7 at age 90.
The pope said he telephoned the ailing man last week. Though Vanier was able to listen to the pope, he could barely respond, he said. Still, Francis said he wanted to thank him for his testimony.
The pope praised Vanier for his Christian understanding of the “mystery of death, of the cross, of illness, the mystery of those who are despised and discarded.”
But also, he said, “He didn’t work just for the least of us, but also for those who face the possibility of being condemned to death before being born.”
“Simply put, I want to thank him and thank God for having given us this man with such a great witness,” the pope said.