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Lenten Event Celebrates Beauty and Mystery of Saint John’s Bible

March 3, 2011

College of Notre Dame of Maryland and Loyola University Maryland invite the Greater Baltimore/Washington community to a Lenten celebration at the Baltimore Basilica, featuring the magnificent Saint John’s Bible. With illumination and text selected from the book of the Prophets, the evening will feature lectio divina meditation and choral works selected from the Church's treasury of musical masterpieces; representing Gregorian Chant, Renaissance motets, hymnody and 20th century anthems. (Lectio divina is a traditional method of Scripture reading practiced by monastics since the beginning of the Church).

The event will be held Tuesday, April 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Basilica, followed by a reception at the Catholic Center (visit www.baltimorebasilica.org for directions and parking information). Attendance is free, but reservations are requested, as space will be limited. Interested persons should send an e-mail to rsvp@ndm.edu.

The Saint John’s Bible is a magnificent work of art, handwritten and illuminated in the tradition of the monasteries of the Middle Ages. The painstaking exploration of faith is the first handcrafted Bible commissioned by a Benedictine abbey in more than 500 years. The limited-edition reproduction faithfully reflects the original work, which is handwritten and illuminated on calfskin vellum using quills, hand-ground pigments, natural inks and 24-carat gold leaf gild. Although created with traditional techniques, the Saint John’s Bible is a contemporary work—combining ancient scripture and symbolism with contemporary and world images, themes and technological advances. The result is breathtaking and inspirational. 

The Loyola/Notre Dame Library is currently home to the first four completed volumes of the seven-volume Saint John’s Bible. When finished, the Saint John's Bible will contain more than 160 illuminations and countless text treatments and marginalia in seven distinct books: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Wisdom Books, Prophets, Gospels and Acts, and Letters and Revelation. The acquisition was made possible through a generous gift from the Mangione family, in memory of the late Nicholas Mangione.

For additional event information, please contact Melinda Timlen at 410-532-3179 or mtimlen@ndm.edu.