St. John’s Bible at Motherhouse December 20, 2019

In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. This work of art unites an ancient Benedictine tradition of art with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium.

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, Molloy College brought two volumes of reproductions of the St. John’s Bible to the Motherhouse.

One of our Sisters, Joan Vlaun, is no stranger to the St. John’s Bible. As a lover of Scripture and art, she couldn’t resist seeing the first handwritten Bible in 500 years in person! In 1999, Sister Joan chose to spend a week in Minnesota learning about this special project. Along with 11 other people in the class, “I was able to touch the last book before it was sent off to print,” she said. “You could see your reflection in the gold.” When the experience was over, she brought back boxes of materials on the project to her parish of St. John the Evangelist in Schenectady. Now, that she is back at the Motherhouse, she donated her materials to the community. Framed prints of the artwork are on display near the elevator across from the dining room. “I’m delighted that Molloy College would invest in these books,” Joan said, noting that Molloy College is the only institution on Long Island that owns any of these reproductions.

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