Saint John’s Bible comes to Seton



Community invited to view extraordinary Holy Scriptures

Ascension Seton invites the Central Texas community to view the remarkable Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated bible produced in more than 500 years.

Each month in 2017, the volume will be on public display for three weeks at a time at 12 different Ascension Texas sites, including all of Seton’s hospitals and Providence Healthcare Network in Waco. Ascension is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

“Bringing the Bible to Texas aligns perfectly with the call of our Catholic Identity,” said Jonathan Ford, Chief Mission Integration Officer for Ascension Texas. “As we continuously strive to provide hospitality for the poor, care for the sick and justice for all of God’s people, the Saint John’s Bible will serve as a way of igniting the spiritual imagination of those we serve of all faith traditions.”

A reflection of modern Christianity

Just as illuminated bibles of the past reflected their times, the Saint John’s Bible reflects our world in the 21st century. Included among its features:

  • Double-helix DNA strands adorn the family tree of Jesus.
  • Bursts of light with fractal edges celebrate the birth of the universe.
  • Microscopic images of E. coli bacteria and HIV, drawing our attention to the needs of those throughout the world who are ill.

During Ascension Texas’ year with the Saint John’s Bible we will feature the heritage edition of Gospel & Acts. This exquisite volume features some of the most inspiring illuminations including Genealogy of Jesus, The Loaves and Fishes, as well as The Crucifixion and many others.

A painstakingly handmade masterpiece

The Bible was created by Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn. Donald Jackson, Senior Scribe to the Queen of England, led the work of six calligraphers and a large creative team during the project that spanned more than 20 years. The calligraphers hand wrote all 1,150 pages of the Bible on approximately 300 sheets of calfskin vellum. More than 160 major illuminations, created by half a dozen artists, bring the text to life in a contemporary and approachable manner. The art spans many faith and artistic traditions from around the world.

Schedule of viewings

The Saint John’s Bible will be on view during normal operating hours at each of these sites.

January: Ascension Seton Administration Offices

February: Ascension Seton Edgar B. Davis Hospital, Luling

March: Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin

April: Providence Healthcare Network, Waco

May: Ascension Seton Northwest Hospital

June: Ascension Seton Highland Lakes Hospital, Burnet

July: Ascension Seton Medical Center Williamson, Round Rock

August: Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas

September: Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas

October: Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays, Kyle

November: Ascension Seton Smithville Regional Hospital, Smithville

December: Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital

Image courtesy: The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.