Saint John’s Bible calligrapher to speak on campus

Diane Von Arx, a prominent calligrapher from Minnesota, will discuss Special Treatment Illuminations in The Saint John’s Bible on Wednesday, March 2, as part of the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series.

Von Arx was closely involved in the creation of the The Saint John’s Bible, and her lecture will help the audience better understand it and the stories behind its diverse illuminations. Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and dessert reception. Volumes of the Bible will be on display.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in Conference Room A of the University Center on campus. Those traveling to campus are asked to park in Lot D near the NW 36th Street entrance, or in Lot H, near the Culebra Road entrance.

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in more than 550 years, and its seven-volume Heritage Edition now resides at St. Mary’s University. The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned in 1998 by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn. The Heritage Edition, valued at about $150,000, is a full-scale reproduction of the original masterpiece; each volume measures 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide when open. Only 299 sets exist, and St. Mary’s owns the only one in Texas.

Rubén M. Escobedo (B.B.A. ’60) and his wife, Verόnica Salazar Escobedo, gave $500,000 in 2014 to create the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series Endowment. The gift allows for the recruitment of scriptural scholars, research and curriculum design, and other programming as St. Mary’s seeks to establish a Center for Catholic Studies.

St. Mary’s acquired the Bible in 2013 through the generosity of John and Susan Morrison, longtime friends of St. Mary’s University President Thomas M. Mengler, J.D.


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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