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Georges and Pauline Vanier

Mercy within Mercy
Mary Frances Coady

ISBN: 9780814646588, 4658
Details: 156 pgs , 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
Publication Date: 09/16/2016

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Georges and Pauline Vanier were the parents of Jean Vanier, the cofounder of the L'Arche communities. They lived an intensely spiritual life, influenced mainly by the Carmelite tradition. Georges and Pauline Vanier: Mercy within Mercy is the warmly told story of their life together through World War II and the second half of the twentieth century, drawing on many letters and journals by Georges and Pauline themselves and those closest to them.

An incredible thirst for God can be seen in the lives of this couple, who were always striving in spite of (and through) human imperfection. The excerpts from letters and journals in this volume show a rare example of the contemplative life and struggles in prayer of an active and prominent married couple. The Vanier story is unique in that it forms a direct link back to the spiritual teaching that includes St. Thérèse and the Carmelite tradition in its emphasis on simplicity, trust in God's love, and self-abandonment to the mercy of God.

After Pauline's death in 1991, an investigation began into the possible introduction of their cause for beatification as a married couple.

Mary Frances Coady is an editor and creative writing instructor and teaches professional communication at Ryerson University in Toronto. She has written widely on the contemplative life including The Hidden Way: The Life and Influence of Almire Pichon.

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An exciting, in-depth, glorious story of Catholic faith.
Most. Rev. Donald Trautman, Bishop Emeritus of Erie

Here is a rare opportunity to be privy to the "heart" journeys of two people whose marriage covenant was primary, absolute, and faithful, but never free from the "clay feet" of their individual, unredeemed, humanity. Together they bore precious fruits within their children, for those served in diplomatic circles internationally, and in people with intellectual disabilities and their assistants with whom they shared life in a small community in France. Some of their wisdom: time every day in sacred silent reflection, wise authors and guides for the inner journey, and generous spirits to listen, weep, laugh, and dance, with companions on the journey.
Sue Mosteller, CSJ, is a friend of Madam Vanier, retired L'Arche member, former literary executor of Henri Nouwen's estate, and a former board member of the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust