st. johns illuminated bible

Saint John’s Bible artist inspired to elevate God’s word

Calligrapher Donald Jackson was artistic director for the handwritten, illuminated Saint John’s Bible.

The world-renowned calligrapher and scribe to Queen Elizabeth II was taking in what he thought were a few moments of quiet between presentations. Rather, he found himself in the middle of a funeral Mass for one of the St. John's University's Benedictine monks.

Peering into the chapel from the gallery, Donald Jackson watched as the coffin was processed to the altar. "This monk was holding this fairly regular, cheap Bible ... I thought, 'You've got to be kidding. That little book does not look worthy of what's in it,'" Jackson recently recalled in a phone interview from his home in Wales.

Art for the modern age

Pentecost, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

The Saint John's Bible is meant to be a communal experience that ignites the spiritual imagination for people of all faiths around the world.

Jason Engel experienced that firsthand in a McDonald's on the South Side of Chicago. Headed home after giving a presentation at the University of Chicago, Engel made his customary stop at the fast food joint, where he encountered Michael, a homeless man, whom he befriended.

Syndicate content