The Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible will be on display at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas through May 31. A public blessing to commemorate the Bible’s visit is planned for 10:30 a.m. today, April 12, in the lobby of Mercy Hospital, located at 2710 Rife Medical Lane in Rogers.
Four Catholic health ministries collaborated to bring the Year of the Saint John’s Bible to Arkansas in recognition of the 175thanniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Little Rock. Throughout the year, the Bible will travel to the health ministries, with each hosting programs for co-workers, physicians and the public. In addition, programs will connect with schools and parishes so they may have an encounter with the first hand-illuminated Bible in 500 years.
The Bible’s second stop at Mercy Northwest Arkansas in Rogers began March 20 and continues through May 31. The public is welcome to view the Bible 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays near the donor wall in the lobby of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas during this time. At 11:45 a.m. every Wednesday, there will be a page turning and reflection.
Chad Raith, vice president of mission for Mercy Northwest Arkansas, said hosting the Bible fits with Mercy’s commitment to care for patients holistically – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1998 and was completed in 2011. The original manuscript of seven volumes remains at St. John’s University, but 299 sets were created as a “Heritage Edition” for travel and display around the world.
The Saint John’s Bible was the vision of artist and calligrapher Donald Jackson, who led the international team that painstakingly created every aspect of the manuscript. Jackson is the scribe of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is one of the world’s foremost calligraphers.
The Saint John’s Bible incorporates many of the characteristics of its medieval predecessors: It was written on vellum, using quills, natural handmade inks, hand-ground pigments and gild such as gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. The massive piece of art includes 1,165 pages and 160 illuminations.
The Saint John’s Bible was displayed at Mercy Fort Smith from Jan. 9 through March 14. After leaving Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers, it will visit St. Bernard’s in Jonesboro in June and July and CHI St. Vincent from August to December.