I'm sure Vanier felt the honor was his - but I suspect the Holy Father felt just as privileged.
Jean Vanier, is the founder of l'Arche, the organization where people without disabilities share the lives of those who are disabled. They live together in community, they work together and serve one another - they share their lives together.
Before meeting with the Holy Father, Vanier was interviewed by Vatican Radio. he had this to say:
He acknowledged a general malaise in the Church when ministering to people with disabilities. “Many people feel embarrassed before people with disability,” he said, adding that there are still priests who refuse to give Communion to people with disabilities.
“There is still work to do,” he said.
Many people also believe that one has to be a specialist to relate to people with disability. But the only need, he said, is to be human and to relate with the other with simplicity of heart.
He described Pope Francis as “super” in reference to his words and gestures regarding people with disability.
“He is the Pope of encounter in the profound sense of seeing the other as a human being, without judging,” said Vanier. “And I think he is teaching us that encounter is not about converting people or telling them something… but about looking at the other the way Jesus looks at them, with tenderness, kindness and love.” - Vatican Radio
There are one or two people with disabilities at the Mass I attend. Sometimes they are loud and get excited. I'm so happy they are there. I love the variety of persons at the Masses I attend - even the noise they make. Nothing is a distraction any longer, because we are together in prayer and worship and Holy Communion. We are together. Father gives Holy Communion to all who approach - the disabled - and me too.