The Badin Bible

The Hesburgh Libraries have enjoyed a rapid expansion in distinguished Catholic text acquisitions. Most notably, the libraries recently came into possession of the Badin Bible, the Coronation Gospels, and the Wenzelsbibel. These astounding pieces of Catholic history are now esteemed, treasured additions to our libraries, thanks to multiple library collection endowments.

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Together, the Thomas and Marcia Blum Family Library Collection for American Catholic Intellectual Thought and the John F. and Kathleen L. Gibbons Family Endowment in American Catholic Studies allowed Notre Dame to acquire the three-volume “Badin Bible,” the first Catholic Bible in English, which was printed in 1790 in Philadelphia by printer Mathew Carey. In 1793, Bishop John Carroll gifted the tome to Father Stephen Badin on the occasion of his ordination into the priesthood. This Bible, pictured right, is especially critical to Catholic Americana because Bishop Carroll was the first bishop in the United States, and Father Badin the first priest to be ordained here. The Badin Bible is lovingly inscribed, “To Rev. Mr. Badin from your affectionate John Bishop of Baltimore,” and has found a wonderful, appreciated home here at Notre Dame after its previous 200 year tenure with the Sisters of Loretto in Father Badin’s native Kentucky.

The Thomas and Marcia Blum Family Library Collection for American Catholic Intellectual Thought was established in 2005 by Anne and John (’48) Hoeck. The Hoecks and the Blums have a deep friendship, fostered by a shared passion for Notre Dame and her Libraries. The collection has represented the bond between the two families by allowing the University to collect works related to the very core of our Catholic mission and faith.