Montreal, Canada, Apr 5, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II is a “sign of the glory of God,” said Jean Vanier.
The founder of L’Arche, an international federation of community houses for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, was in Montreal April 2 to receive the prestigious Gaudium et Spes Award from the Knights of Columbus.
The evening event was unexpectedly eclipsed by the death of Pope John Paul only a few hours earlier. All of the speakers that evening, who stood to pay tribute to Vanier, also took the time to pay tribute to the Pope.
Vanier, a longtime friend of the Pope, said he was shocked, saddened and very moved by the news of his death.
Upon receiving the award, he told the dinner crowd of about 300 Knights of Columbus and their wives at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel about his last meeting with the Pope in Lourdes Aug. 14-15.