Jesuits sell historic 7th-century St. Cuthbert Gospel

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Monday 08, August 2011 | Category:  

THE ST. CUTHBERT GOSPEL in its original binding.

I realize I've been on a Jesuit-related theme in recent posts, but here's one more I offer because it reminded me of the item below about the discovery that a painting hanging for years in Oxford University's Jesuit residence was actually by Michelangelo.

Recently, the British Jesuits were again in the news in connection with an artistic and historic treasure: Catholic News Service reports that the British Province of the Society of Jesus has sold the historic St. Cuthbert Gospel—believed to be the oldest intact book produced in Europe—to the British Library for $14.7 million.

The pocket-sized late 7th-century Latin translation of the Gospel of John, produced by monks of Wearmouth-Jarrow in northeast England, was found inside the coffin of Saint Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, when the saint's grave was opened in 1104. Experts believe the manuscript was placed inside the casket within 10 years of the bishop's death in 687.

The Jesuits will use the proceeds from the sale to restore a historic church and pay for educational work in London and Glasgow. The British Library will make the the manuscript available for people to view either directly or online.

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