Skip to content

Senator Blunt Accepts Rare Bible from Pope Francis

Senator Blunt and Librarian of Congress Billington with Pope Francis as the pope presents a rare illuminated Bible to the Library of Congress Senator Blunt is the chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) in receiving a donation of a Saint John’s Illuminated Bible given to the Library of Congress by Pope Francis last week during his first visit to the United States. The Pope presented the Bible immediately after his remarks to a joint session of Congress, which was the first ever papal speech before Congress.

“Meeting Pope Francis this morning was a humbling and memorable experience,” said Blunt. “It was an honor to receive the donation of a very special St. John’s Illuminated Bible given to the Library of Congress by the Pope during his visit this week. The time and resources put into this completely handwritten and hand-illustrated Bible is remarkable, and I’m glad it will reside in the Library of Congress as a reminder of the Pope’s historic visit to our great nation and the inspiring and hopeful message he had for us in Congress and across America.”

The Apostles Edition of the Saint John’s Bible, one of only 12 in existence, is more than 1,130 pages, contains 160 illuminations, and measures 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide when open. It is the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned in more than 500 years. The Library placed the Bible on public exhibition starting on Saturday, Sept. 26.