Could someone tell me what’s in the air? Even as there seems to be so much confusion in the Church and disarray in the passing on of the authentic faith, the number of beautiful resources for Catholics continues to increase and diversify (recently, I reviewed the book Treasure and Tradition, one of the most magnificent works of its kind that I’ve ever seen). So, too, with this new Sacred Art Series. The goals are spelled out by the editor William R. Bloomfield, who writes at their website:
The Sacred Art Series provides a variety of products featuring beautiful images of sacred art to help families and individuals grow in holiness. The centerpiece of the Sacred Art Series is The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, which is a unique version of the Gospels that presents the Gospels story-by-story alongside beautiful images of sacred art. It also is beautifully bound with a leatherette cover so that both the exterior and interior of this book are stunning.(Far below, I have included a photograph of the volume’s full Preface, which gives more details about the project’s genesis and purpose. My apologies that the photos are not the crispest ever; the printing is, in fact, extremely crisp and clear.)
Both children and adults will appreciate the large font, story-by-story format, and beautiful images as improving readability. The English edition’s text is based on the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims translation--an excellent Catholic translation--with minor updates to remove most thee’s, thou’s, thy’s, and -eth endings. A Latin Vulgate Edition is also available. The art includes exquisite works of sacred art, with many from master artists such as Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, Duccio, Giotto, Murillo, and Titian.
A volume of the Sacred Art Series makes an excellent First Communion or Confirmation gift. It also makes a great birthday, feast day, or Christmas gift for your children, godchildren, nieces, or nephews. And unlike many bibles that are gifted (which are really adult bibles and are often for show), this one is truly designed to be read.
My photos don’t really do it justice, but they will give you a sense of how Bloomfield has made a reader’s Bible that is both maximally useful and unquestionably beautiful. As a teacher of Scripture, I can testify that Bloomfield is right to say that beginning readers are often distracted and discouraged by the unfriendly layout of most Bibles, with their tiny print, dual columns, chapter and verse numbers, footnotes, and other paraphernalia that almost amount to a warning: “This book that you are now holding is an old, technical, difficult, forbidding tome that you can’t just open up and enjoy reading. Think twice before diving in.” This new book has just the opposite effect: you want to take it up and read it as the story that it is -- the greatest story ever told.
available for free. Of course, the published version he has made is worth every penny of its cost, in my opinion -- a PDF does not come with a leatherlike cover, gilt edges, and pictures you can lovingly linger over in a sunny corner of the living room.
Parents, teachers, catechists, pastors, lectio divina enthusiasts -- whoever you may be: look into this Bible and see if it might not be the missing edition we have been waiting for. A last piece of good news: Bloomfield Books says they will be bringing out other companion volumes done in the same careful, thoughtful, and artistic manner. May God bless you richly in this literary apostolate!
Also, be sure to check out their other available product, the Rosary Flip-Book, an excellent resource for any family trying to pray the Rosary while keeping little ones occupied and/or older ones meditating rather than day-dreaming. I have included a few photos of this product below.
Buy The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John at Amazon.com