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Never Again Alone, the adventure of Faith and Light
A book, whose title is “No longer alone”, tells us the story of Faith and Light from over 40 years ago (because its origins go back before the 1971 pilgrimage). Marie-Hélène Mathieu has been tackling this job for more than a year and the result is fabulous! She has literally relived each of the great moments of our sacred history before meticulously writing them down in the manuscript; Jean Vanier has also contributed with a long introduction.
The story of Faith and Light is not a long peaceful river! Since its beginnings, plenty of suffering, trials and sad moments have strewn our way; but God has always been a loyal support, built on the preference that he has for the smallest…
This book is for reading and meditating on because it is going to be a very efficient tool for making us known, spreading our message of joy and helping us to grow. I hope that it will be very quickly translated into many languages! Indeed, it is vital that we all keep in our hearts what inspired and carried our founders, that we all go forward in our turn with the energy that they demonstrated, that we all show the same determination to make Faith and Light grow everywhere in the world; in brief, for us to be worthy of what our founders have bequeathed to us!
I know, after having made many visits to provinces on five continents, how indebted you feel for everything that Jean and Marie-Hélène have done, not once have I not heard sentences like: “we have been visited x times by Jean and y times by Marie-Hélène, it was so good for us!” or “here is the chapel where Jean came the first time he visited us to talk about Faith and Light, it was in such and such year!”
I give thanks to God for all that they have done for Faith and Light; this book is going to make us tireless messengers, full of boldness and enthusiasm so that people with an intellectual disability are fully recognised as beloved children of God!
Ghislain du Chéné,
La lumière d’une rencontre
Book only available in French language
The light of an encounter ... What encounter is Marie-Hélène Mathieu talking to us about with this title? Is it with Suzanne, her intellectually disabled school friend who was humiliated by the comments of the other pupils? Or even the one with Father Henri Bissonnier that led her to found the Office chrétien des personnes handicapées (OCH)? Or even the one with Marthe Robin, who carried the Faith and Light pilgrimage through prayer?
Because the encounters in the life of Marie-Hélène Mathieu have been many, all completely revolving around the guidance of disabled people and their families. Beyond the strength, the intensity of her testimony, the author shows us what the welcoming of ill, fragile and marginalized people can be for each of us, and invites us to get close to them and to be taught by them. This book is also an appeal for their voice, their rights and the meaning of their life to be fully recognised. The light of an encounter is an unusual anthology of the writings of Marie-Hélène Mathieu: editorials, columns, lectures ...
Dieu m’aime comme je suis
(Book available in French, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, Romanian and Slovak)
"People thought that François, who has an intellectual disability, hadn’t understood a thing about his first communion. Then he came out with the following reply : “God loves me as I am”. It’s by using these simple words that Marie-Hélène Mathieu introduces us into the heart of the lives of people with disabilities and their families, with whom she is in daily contact. She tells us how necessary it is to give disabled people their proper place, and to base ourselves on their example as far as the essentials of life are concerned : to be loved and to love others. “God loves me as I am”, which assembles the editorials of the “Ombres et Lumière” magazine, is a follow-up to her first publication mentioned above "Mieux vaut allumer une lampe que maudire l’obscurité".
"These simple, moving pages, reflecting long experience, address a vital message for each human being (…) Thank you for helping us to give thanks with Jesus for the mysteries “hidden from the wise and the prudent that He has revealed to the little children” (Mt 11,25)" Cardinal Lustiger.
Mieux vaut allumer une lampe que maudire l’obscurité
Book only available in French language
«How can you address yourself to the parents of children with an intellectual disability in a manner that is neither banal consolation, nor psychological language, or conventional hope ? The pages of this book succeed, putting the reader almost immediately into contact with what is unique in each disabled person, particularly those whose intelligence is afflicted. The book is full of hope, because it conveys the grace of God page by page. It is also permeated with realism, because the experience of the author is that of a special teacher, and a woman who is in daily contact with people afflicted in both body and spirit.” Stéphane Desmazières, ex-bishop of Beauvais.