L'Arche founder Jean Vanier recovering in hospital after having stent fitted

ReutersL'Arche founder Jean Vanier outside his home in Trosly-Breuil. Vanier has won the 2015 Templeton Prize for affirming life's spiritual dimension.

Jean Vanier, the Canadian Catholic philosopher and theologian who founded L'Arche, the community for disabled people and their carers, is recovering in hospital after having a stent fitted.

A spokesperson for Vanier, who is 88, told Christian Today: 'He's well and he's taking a convalescence period before going back to home.'

L'Arche — The Ark — emerged from a community started 53 years ago by Vanier in his home town of Trosly-Breuil, a small French village north of Paris where the former naval officer still lives.

Then in his mid-30s, Vanier visited an institution for so-called 'idiots' before deciding in 1964 to invite two men from the institution to live with him.

L'Arche is now based in some 50 countries around the world, and has 10 communities in the UK.

In an interview with The Spectator over the summer, Vanier said of the disabled people at L'Arche: 'Because they are people of fun, they love to celebrate. Every meal can become a celebration. That doesn't mean to say that now and again people won't prod their next-door neighbour with a fork — this is life. But the fundamental movement from many people with disabilities, they have been so pushed down, they don't know they're lovable, and then the day that they discover that they are lovable and they can trust themselves, then it becomes whoopee!'