Basilica to display Mangione gift to college library April 5

A Heritage Edition of the “Saint John’s Bible,” a fine art reproduction of a handwritten text, will be on display at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore during an evening of prayer and reflection April 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., courtesy of Loyola University Maryland, College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a gift to those institutions from the Mangione Family.

According to news releases, the Loyola/Notre Dame Library added the edition to its collection, thanks to a gift of $130,000 from Mary C. Mangione and her family in memory of her late husband, Nicholas B. Mangione.

She is a 1952 graduate of Mount St. Agnes College, which joined with Loyola in 1971. Her husband, who died in 2008, was a longtime Loyola trustee. Several of their 10 children also attended Loyola.

The first handcrafted Bible commissioned by a Benedictine abbey in more than 500 years, the original “Saint John’s Bible” was commissioned by St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn. Renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson coordinated teams of artists in Wales and scholars in Minnesota on the work, which continues the tradition of the monasteries of the Middle Ages.

A team of scribes, artists and craftspeople guided the development of the Heritage Edition, ensuring that each of its 1,150 pages and 160 illuminations maintains the artistic intent of the original.

“This gift,” said Jesuit Father Brian F. Linnane, the president of Loyola, “will allow us to share the beauty and mystery of the Word, in this remarkable form, with students, academics, and members of the greater community who would not otherwise have an opportunity to see such a moving work of art and faith.”

“All of us at the college are deeply grateful to the Mangione family,” said Mary Pat Seurkamp, president of College of Notre Dame of Maryland. “It is truly a masterpiece and its legacy will inspire our students, faculty and staff for generations to come.”

The April 5 Lenten celebration at the Basilica will offer lectio divina meditation and choral works, including Gregorian chant. A reception at the Catholic Center will follow.

Attendance is free and all are welcome, but reservations are requested. For additional event information, call 410-532-3179.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.