Institutions to turn to same pages of Saint John’s Bible during papal visit

Categories: Around the Diocese,Papal visit

The Visitor

Pope Francis accepts the final volume of a limited, fine-art edition of The St. John's Bible at the end of an annual audience with the Papal Foundation at the Vatican April 17. The St. John's Bible is a project of the Benedictine monks of St. John's Abbey and of St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano) See BIBLE-STJOHN April 20, 2015 and POPE-FOUNDATION April 17, 2015.

Pope Francis accepts the final volume of a limited, fine-art edition of The Saint John’s Bible at the end of an annual audience with the Papal Foundation at the Vatican last April 17. Beginning Sept. 21 and continuing each day of Pope Francis’ visit to America, more than 50 institutions across North America will turn to the same page of The Saint John’s Bible. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

Beginning Sept. 21 and continuing each day of Pope Francis’ visit to America, more than 50 institutions across North America will turn to the same page of The Saint John’s Bible. The act will symbolize of seven days of Christian solidarity as the American people welcome the Holy Father.

“When we all agree to touch and turn the calligraphed pages of our Saint John’s Bibles in unison, day by day, it brings us all in touch with one another as members of The Saint John’s Bible family,” Donald Jackson, the artistic director of The Saint John’s Bible, said in a news release about the initiative.

“What could be a more profound celebration of Pope Francis’ visit with the people of the United States of America?” he said. “The thought of all those turning pages warms my heart.”

There are over 160 illuminations and 1,130 pages in the seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible. Participating institutions together will display the following seven illuminations:

  • Monday, Sept. 21: Creation (Genesis)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22: Abraham and Sarah (Genesis)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23: Ten Commandments (Exodus)
  • Thursday, Sept. 24: Peter’s Confession (Matthew)
  • Friday, Sept. 25: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes (Mark)
  • Saturday, Sept. 26: Two Cures (Mark)
  • Sunday, Sept. 27 : Pentecost (Acts of the Apostle)

According to Benedictine Father Michael Patella, professor of theology at St. John’s University and chair of the theological effort behind the The Saint John’s Bible, the illuminations were selected with great care.

“These illuminations were specifically chosen because they resonate with values Pope Francis holds dear: hospitality; concern for the poor, sick and marginalized; the dignity of all people; and care for creation,” he said.

In addition to the illuminated pages, a reflection for each day from the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville will also be on display.

To view the list of participating institutions, visit:

www.saintjohnsbible.org/7days7pages_participants.

To view the seven days of illuminations and reflections, visit:

www.saintjohnsbible.org/7days7pages.

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. St. John’s University in Collegeville commissioned calligrapher Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty the Queen’s Crown Office at the House of Lords in London, England, to lead a team of scribes and artists to create this masterpiece. More information on The Saint John’s Bible and the Heritage Edition can be found at www.saintjohnsbible.org.