BYU Harold B. Lee Library sets out special Bible display to honor Pope’s U.S. tour

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A student viewing the Saint John’s Bible display. The display is in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections area of the Harold B. Lee Library. (Natalie Bothwell)

BYU joined over 60 other institutions in honoring Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. with a “7 Days 7 Pages” exhibit. Schools, libraries, churches and homes nationwide will be displaying the same page of the Saint John’s Bible for seven days to unite Christians across the United States.

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten Bible in the modern era. It was commissioned in 1998 to commemorate the new millennium and contains very detailed and exquisite artwork on every page.

Gordon Daines, a supervisor in the special collections department of the HBLL, said the illuminations in the Bible are simply gorgeous.

“The Saint John’s Bible really is a treasure and this is a great opportunity for people to come down and see it,” Daines said.

Maggie Kopp, curator of rare books in the special collections department explained more about what to expect with this 7 Days 7 Pages event.

“There is a devotional text to go along with each piece,” she said. “People can come and look at the Bible and then the reading can help them to meditate on the spiritual meaning behind the illustrations and scriptures in the Bible.”

She explained this is a part of a spiritual occasion.

“It is a cross-denominational celebration. And we hope that any student would, if they’re in the library and need a little break, come down and get a little spiritual thought,’ Kopp said.

A close-up of the Saint John’s Bible. Each page is full of hand-drawn illuminations. (Natalie Bothwell)

The following pages are being displayed for the event:

  • Monday, Sept. 21: Creation (Penateuch volume – Genesis 1)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22: Abraham and Sarah (Penateuch volume – Genesis 15 and 17)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23: Ten Commandments (Penateuch volume – Exodus 20)
  • Thursday, Sept. 24: Peter’s Confession (Gospels & Acts volume – Matthew 16)
  • Friday, Sept. 25: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes (Gospel and Acts volume – Mark 6)
  • Saturday, Sept. 26: Two Cures (Gospels and Acts volume – Mark 5)
  • Monday, Sept. 28: Pentecost (Gospels and Acts volume – Acts 1)

The Bible will be open for viewing Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday frpm 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m until Sept. 28.

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