Pope Francis will present a copy of the St. John’s Bible to the Library of Congress during a visit to Washington, D.C. next month.
The Pope is donating one of twelve deluxe reproductions of an original seven-volume edition of the Bible that was handwritten and illuminated by the monks at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. With an estimated production cost of $8 million, the St. John’s Bible was completed in 2011 and is housed at St John’s University. Twelve special edition reproduction sets were then reproduced by lay people in the United States and Britain. One of these sets was then gifted to the Pope, who will in turn give the book to the American people.
The St. John’s Bible is thought to be the only handwritten and illuminated copy of the Bible to be produced in its complete form since the invention of the printing press.
When the Pope addresses Congress on September 24, he will formally give the Bible to Rep. John Boehner, as Speaker of the House, who will in turn transfer the book to the Library of Congress.
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Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Nate Pedersen author