Students at St. Joseph’s School in Chemainus feast their eyes on the Heritage edition of the hand-scripted and illustrated Saint John’s Bible.

Students at St. Joseph’s School in Chemainus feast their eyes on the Heritage edition of the hand-scripted and illustrated Saint John’s Bible.

Unique Saint John’s BIble comes to St. Joseph’s

Students, staff and the public had a chance to see the Heritage edition of the hand-scripted and illustrated Bible late last month.

St. Joseph’s School students and members of the public recently had a chance to see a very unique Bible.

Three volumes of the Heritage edition of the hand-scripted and illustrated Saint John’s Bible were on display at the school Friday, March 28.

Bishop Emeritus Remi de Roo of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria has taken on the task of bringing a copy of this seven-volume work of modern sacred art to the West Coast, according to John Mulrooney, a member of the St. Joseph’s school council.

The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University and was created by Donald Jackson, Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office, along with a collaborative team of scribes and artists, according to a pamphlet about the Bible.

It is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years. All 73 books from the Old and New Testaments using the New Revised Standard Version are presented in seven volumes of approximately 1,150 pages. The Bible has found a home at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

The work of The Saint John’s Bible was done in a scriptorium in Wales. The Bible was made using traditional materials such as vellum (calfskin), ancient inks, gold and silver leaf and platinum, and was written with quill pens fashioned from goose, turkey and swan feathers.

An extension of the original work, the Heritage Edition is the only full-size, limited, signed and numbered fine art edition that will ever be produced. In all, 299 fine art editions have been created and placed in religious, arts, academic, healing and literary institutions around the world.

Bound in Italian leather and printed on 100-per-cent cotton paper, the Heritage Edition features the exquisite calligraphy, vibrant imagery and stunning gold and silver illuminations inspired by the original. With Donald Jackson as the creative director, the Heritage Edition is a work of art in its own right, and each volume includes Jackson’s signature as its certificate of authenticity.