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Home  >  News  >  Jean Vanier Wins Templeton Prize


Jean Vanier Wins Templeton Prize

Wednesday March 11 2014

Jean Vanier, founder of the L'Arche movement, has won this year's Templeton Prize, it was announced today.

Valued at £1.1 million ($1.7 million or €1.5 million), the prize is one of the world's largest annual awards given to an individual and honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension. The Prize will be awarded on May 18 at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

L'Arche is an international network of communities where people with and without learning disabilities live and work together. From a single community founded by Vanier in France in 1964, it has grown to 147 communities in 35 countries, plus more than 1500 Faith and Light support groups in 82 countries.

Vanier, who is now 86, said: "My dream for this magnificent prize you have given me and through me to L'Arche and Faith & Light, is for us to create spaces and opportunities for such meetings, meetings which transform hearts.  Places where those caught up in the world of success and normality and those who are in need, but who are also teachers of love and of simplicity, come together.  Places where they can share together, eat together, laugh and celebrate together, weep and pray together; where the hearts of those who carry power in our society can be melted and rest; and where all together we may become a sign of peace."

The prize joins other honours he has received over the years, including the French Légion d’Honneur and Companion of the Order of Canada. In an interview with Life and Work in 2007, he said that such awards were useful for spreading his message, but added: "My life is not just going round looking for awards. My life is for living with my people."

The 'Still, Small Voice': interview with Jean Vanier


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