The Saint John’s Bible Goes on the Road

Did you know The Saint John’s Bible is available to be used in an educational lecture, prayer service or retreat at your parish? Saint Peter’s University alumni now have the opportunity to host the holy text in their respective communities and learn about its history through a presentation by Rev. Michael L. Braden, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry.

The original Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey in Wales and Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1998. Spearheaded by renowned Calligrapher Donald Jackson, teams of artists in Wales and scholars in Minnesota worked together to create this seven volume Bible, the first known hand-written and illuminated Bible in more than 500 years.  It was designed and created using 130-year-old Chinese ink and quills made of goose feathers.

Anthony and Marilyn Bastardi donated a Heritage Edition reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible to the University. The Heritage Edition is a full-size, fine art reproduction of the original. Measuring two-feet tall by three-feet wide when open, it is the exact size of the original manuscript. Each volume is signed by the chief scribe and illuminator, Donald Jackson. The edition is limited to 360 signed and numbered sets and contains the same seven volumes as the original. Many of the illuminations are touched-up by hand, including the burnishing of gold leaf. The single volume of The Saint John’s Bible has been on permanent display on the first floor of the Theresa and Edward O’Toole Library since 2012.

Alumni have three options to host The Saint John’s Bible. Option one includes learning the history, viewing illuminations and praying with The Saint John’s Bible. Option two includes a PowerPoint presentation with a question-and-answer session. Option three features  a two-day presentation and discussion. When booking an event, a suggested donation is encouraged. Contributions are fully tax-deductible and will go to the Jesuit Mission and Identity fund.

For inquiries and scheduling, please contact Alumni Engagement Officer Karen Hackett at (201) 761-6113 or Up to one program per month will be scheduled and will be based on Fr. Braden’s availability.