Jean Vanier and Marie-Hélène Mathieu

Faith and Light

The Province of the Northern Lights

An international Christian association for people with intellectual disabilities, their parents and friends.

    The Province of the Northern Lights consists of                           Faith and Light groups in                     Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Sweden.

photo: Bud Kuenzli

Jean Vanier


In 1950, he left the Royal Canadian Navy to study philosophy. After having obtained a doctorate in philosophy, he taught at Toronto University.


In 1964 he created l’Arche, welcoming two adults with intellectual disabilities in a small home at Trosly-Breuil in Oise, France.


In 1971 he founded Faith and Light with Marie-Hélène Mathieu

Marie-Hélène Mathieu

A special teacher, she created the Office Chrétien des Personnes Handicapées (O.C.H.) Christian Office for disabled people in 1963.


In 1968, she created the Ombres et Lumière magazine which she ran until the year 2000.


In 1971, she founded Faith and Light with Jean Vanier.


In 1979, she became international coordinator of the Faith and Light movement.ce.