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Rare, hand-lettered bible on display in Hastings

A rare and unique bible will be on display March 11 at Regina Senior Living in Hastings.

In 1998, Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville commissioned a hand-lettered, illustrated bible that would carry on the tradition of the great illuminated bibles that were created in medieval monasteries.

They hired Donald Jackson, a world-renowned illuminator and master calligrapher who lives in Wales. Jackson served as artistic director on the 13-year project, supervising a team of artists and scribes. He worked with monks, medievalists, theologians and scholars at the university.

The international collaboration produced a seven-volume, 1,150-page bible with over 160 illuminations and numerous special text treatments

Jackson designed the calligraphic script, each letter of which was written by hand in lamp black ink from 19th century Chinese stick inks made from carbon.

Regina Senior living is hosting one of the seven volumes, the Gospel & Acts.

The limited heritage edition is a full-size fine art edition of the original manuscript, measuring two feet tall and three feet wide. It's the first totally handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years.

The bible will be blessed at a special 10 a.m. mass in the chapel at Regina Senior Living, followed by a presentation and open house at 11 a.m. The event is a collaboration between

Benedictine Health System and the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn., to honor the 125th anniversary of their Sponsor, the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery.

For more information,call 651-404-7947 or visit

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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