The Saint John’s Bible

The Saint John’s Bible is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press more than five hundred years ago.

 

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Bidding Farewell (Possibly) to The Saint John’s Bible:
The Heritage Edition at Saint Philip’s in the Hills

In a welcome surprise, we will soon have on display ALL SEVEN volumes of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible for a unique encounter with all 1,150-pages of calligraphed scripture and 160 major illuminations.

Lunch will be provided free of charge, so please RSVP by Friday, October 4! For more information, please contact Fr. Peter Helman (520-299-6421 ext. 33; peter.helman@stphilipstucson.org).

Last September, Saint Philip’s launched a program called, “A Year With The Saint John’s Bible,” made possible through partnerships with Saint John’s University & Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, and Saint Philip’s Art Gallery Committee.

For the past year, Saint Philip’s has been home to one of seven volumes of the full-sized Heritage Edition — the volume containing the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. We have incorporated the volume into our weekly liturgical life and have only begun to explore its illuminations through contemplation and study.

On Sunday, October 6, we will conclude our “A Year With The Saint John’s Bible” and consider whether to say farewell to the Gospel and Acts volume…or to become a permanent home for a 7-volume Heritage Edition and serve as one of only 299 global stewards of this unique work of sacred art…or as Newsweek called it, “America’s Book of Kells.”

Brad Neary, Director of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program, will return to join us in the Music Center at 12:45 p.m. for a parish luncheon and special forum on the enduring legacy of The Saint John’s Bible and a review of how Saint Philip’s has celebrated this monumental work over the past twelve months.

The Saint John’s Bible is a singular achievement of sacred art: the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press more than 500 years ago. With the pages of the original manuscript housed on permanent display at Saint John’s University, the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible was conceived to ignite the spiritual imagination of people from all faith journeys. Limited to 299 sets, the seven volumes of the Heritage Edition are a true masterpiece—hand-treated, fine art lithographs true to the scale, beauty, and artistic intent of the original. The Heritage Edition offers communities of faith like Saint Philip’s and other institutions around the world an encounter with The Saint John’s Bible.

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Photo courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014

Photo courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014

The Heritage Edition

The Saint John’s Bible is a singular achievement: the complete text of the Bible, written on calfskin vellum using traditional tools and inks. As a work of sacred art, it ignites the spiritual imagination of all those who view its pages. However, the beauty, richness, and inspiration of The Saint John’s Bible are not limited to those able to see the original pages in a museum setting. Limited to 299 sets, the seven volumes of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible are true to the scale, beauty, and artistic intent of the original manuscript. Saint Philip’s is proud to house the Gospel and Acts volume, and to use it for the proclamation of the Gospel in all our Sunday morning services this year.


Visio Divina

At 6:30pm each Wednesday evening throughout the fall, as part of our regular Mosaic Dinner programming, we are thrilled to offer the experience of Visio Divina: seeing the Word. Seeing the Word is a program of guided reflection that makes it possible to pray with images from The Saint John's Bible. Participants listen and meditate on scripture, see with eyes of faith as they gaze on illuminations, pray to God, contemplate the Spirit's movements, and reflect how they might become more Christ-like. All are welcome!

Photo courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014

Photo courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014


Photo courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014

Photo courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014

The Beauty of Holiness

The Saint John’s Bible reflects Benedictine values, particularly highlighting three themes: hospitality; conversion of life; and justice for God’s people. Additionally, gold leaf was used liberally to represent the divine, silver/platinum to reflect the principle of wisdom, and rainbows to show God’s promise in the vivid illuminations in the volumes Prophets and Revelation. Inked stamps, textile patterns and other motifs carry themes across volumes. A wide range of artistic styles, including iconography, abstraction, chrysography and illustration, work together to expand our visual vocabulary for the sacred.

Banner image: Creation, Covenant, Shekinah, Kingdom, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2006, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.