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Braille Bible gives insight to visually impaired

New Indian publication strengthens faith through power of touch

Braille Bible gives insight to visually impaired
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio (third from left) gives the first copies of the new inter-confessional Braille Bible in Tamil to Rajamanickam Xavier and Regina Mary, two visually impa
Leo Fernando, Chennai

January 19, 2011

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Jancy Rani, a visually impaired student, always wanted to conduct Bible readings at Mass. Her wish became true recently beyond her wildest dreams. On Jan. 9, the tenth grader used a Braille Bible to give the second reading at a Mass concelebrated by 120 Latin rite bishops in Chennai, southern India. The Mass was part of a public reception for the bishops, who met in the city for the plenary of the Conference of Catholics Bishops of India. “It was an amazing experience to read on such a big occasion,” Rani told yesterday. She said she and her friends love to read “our Braille Bibles and strengthen our faith.” During the reception, Apostolic Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio gave the first copies of a new inter-confessional Braille Bible in Tamil to Rajamanickam Xavier and Regina Mary, two visually impaired teachers. We can understand the Bible better since we can read it ourselves, Xavier, told “We used to listen to others reading the Bible, now we can read it ourselves which gives us spiritual satisfaction,” Mary said. The Brothers of Sacred Heart started translating the New Testament and Psalms in Braille at a cost of 6.5 million rupees (US$144,450) in 2006. The congregation runs the Amalarakkinni School for the Blind, which has 120 students. School director, Sacred Heart Brother Levil, said their students always wanted to participate in the liturgy so “we felt the need for a Braille version.” The congregation has printed 500 copies and each copy, costing 750 rupees, comprises 21 volumes and is printed on thick plastic sheets. BSH provincial Brother Pancras said they will soon begin translating the Old Testament and share it with other institutions helping the visually impaired. Related reports Catholic feud shoots down Bible quiz Bible exhibition highlights ´real´ heroes and role models for kids IB12916.1637
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