Officials from St. John's Abbey in Minnesota traveled to the Vatican and presented Pope Benedict with a rare edition of the St. John's Bible.
It's the first known handwritten and illustrated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the invention of the printing press over 500 years ago.
The pope received a limited edition reproduction of the one of the Old Testament volumes. He'll receive the remaining six volumes over the next four years.
Cardinal Theodore McCormick tells reporters the pope's eyes "lit up with joy and enthusiam as he turned the pages."
The St. John's Bible was lettered and illustrated over 10 years by a team of calligraphy experts using goose feather quills, ancient inks and precious metals.
The work was paid for with $4 million in private donations. The volumes of the St. John's Bible are stored in a vault at St. John's University.