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Divine Words, Inspired Art prints from the Saint John's Bible September 13 – October 28, 2008      
Divine Words, Insprited Art prints from The Saint John's Bible
“Creation, Covenant, Shekinah, Kingdom,” Wisdom of Solomon 10–11.
Donald Jackson, 2004; natural hand-ground ink on calfskin vellum,
copyright 2004, The Saint John’s Bible and the Hill Museum & Manuscript
Library at Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minn.

The Saint John’s Bible, an Illuminated Bible for the Modern Age

For more than a millennium, Bibles were not only the word of God but works of art, thanks to the tradition of illuminated manuscripts. The hand-lettered manuscripts, with exquisitely decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations, gradually faded as an art form with the advent of the printing press; but in 1998, Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., revived this educational, artistic and spiritual tradition with its ambitious and celebrated project — The Saint John’s Bible, an illuminated Bible for the modern age.

Donald Jackson, an internationally renowned calligrapher and scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords, was chosen to carry out the commission, assisted by a team of calligraphers and illuminators. They have used the tools and materials employed by scribes more than a thousand years ago — quill pens on vellum, natural handmade inks, hand-ground pigments, and gold and silver leaf, coupled with the advantages of modern computer technology for layout.

Scheduled to be completed in 2010, the monumental work will contain more than 1,100 pages with 160 illuminations in seven volumes, each measuring two feet by three feet. The words work hand in hand with the art, seeking to inspire a new generation with dynamic interpretations of scripture from a contemporary perspective that embraces our diverse world.


Opening Reception
Tuesday, September 16
5:30–7:30 p.m.
Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
Diane M. von Arx, a Minneapolis-based graphic designer and calligraphy artist who worked with Donald Jackson at his Welsh studio, will discuss her experience.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery and Friends of the College of St. Catherine Libraries.

Day of Immersion
Tuesday, September 23
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Rauenhorst Hall in Coeur de Catherine, St. Paul campus

A full day of events, including:
9 a.m. Prayer Service
9:30–11 a.m. “From Inspiration to Illumination.” Tim Ternes of Saint John’s University will give an introduction to The Saint John’s Bible.
11 a.m.–1 p.m. Calligraphy demonstrations by Twin Cities Calligraphers Association; attendees can try their own hand at calligraphy. Guided tours of the exhibition.
1:30–3:30 p.m. “Visio Divina,” a guided visual process focusing on one art image from the Bible; limit 50 participants.

For more information, contact Rita Schultz (; 651.690.6649).
Sponsored by the Myser Initiative on Catholic Identity.

Introduction to
The Saint John’s Bible
Saturday, September 27
10 a.m. – noon
Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
Saint Benedict’s Monastery Communications Director Susan Sink, who has written two books on the art of The Saint John’s Bible, will address the theological, artistic and thematic elements in the exhibition.
For more information, contact the Alumnae Association at or 651.690.6666.
Sponsored by the College of St. Catherine Alumnae Association.

Fall Art Tour
4-8 p.m. Saturday, October 4
The exhibition will be part of a seven-campus gallery crawl; free shuttle buses are available to each location.
For more information, go to or contact Kathy Harris at or 651.690.6636

Event Sponsors: S. Mona Riley Humanities Endowed Chair; Myser Initiative on Catholic Identity; Friends of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery & Friends of the College of St. Catherine Libraries, College of St. Catherine Alumnae Association