Illuminating the Word of God


On Sunday, October 21, 2018, through the generosity of the Diocese of Hamilton, two volumes of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible were displayed in Providence Motherhouse’s Chapel of Mary, Mother of Compassion. Volumes displayed were the Wisdom Books and Gospels and Acts of the Apostles.

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

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. With the Heritage Edition—a masterpiece in its own right—people around the world can experience The Saint John’s Bible. These volumes can be used in liturgies, by scholars, and in the daily life of a faith community. 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.

Prior to the display, on October 17, a documentary entitled The Illuminator, about the creation of the Bible, was shown in the Motherhouse auditorium as part of the ongoing education series. Sisters, Associates and members of the Sunday faith community were present.
The Bible and the documentary were both informative and inspirational.

To learn more about The Saint John’s Bible and to view digital versions of the volumes online, visit

From left: Dominy Williams, Director of Library & Archives, Diocese of Hamilton, and Bridget Ker, Coordinator of The Saint John’s Bible. Dominy and Bridget facilitated the viewings and answered questions about The Saint John’s Bible.