Bible used by Jackie Kennedy after JFK's assassination up for auction, highlights Ecclesiastes 3

U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, are seen in this photograph taken in the White House in March 1963.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, are seen in this photograph taken in the White House in March 1963. | U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

A bible used by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis after the November 1963 assassination of her husband President John F. Kennedy is up for auction. 

Currently bidding at $36,000, Heritage Auctions, one of the world's largest auctioneers of collectibles, has listed the "John F. Kennedy: 'Inauguration' Bible Used by Jackie Kennedy for JFK's Funeral Service." The bidding will end on Friday. 

Jackie Kennedy, who died several decades after her late husband from non-Hodgkins lymphoma on May 19, 1994, and remarried in 1968, left a message in the Bible. 

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"Bible we used the night Jack died to choose Ecclesiastes to be read at his funeral. JBK 1963," the inscription reads.

The passage in question (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8) is highlighted on page 740. 

The New Catholic Edition Illustrated Bible measures 5.75 inches by 8.25 inches and was gifted by Richard Cardinal Cushing, the archbishop of Boston from 1944 to 1970. Despite some glue discoloration to the bookplate, the auctioneer advertises the Bible in otherwise "excellent" condition. 

"The cover is gold-stamped on the bottom 'January 20, 1961,' coinciding with JFK's inauguration," the auction description reads. "The flyleaf has an attached bookplate for John Fitzgerald Kennedy, featuring the Presidential Seal." 

According to Heritage, the consignor's mother served on Cushing's staff and received many artifacts and mementos after his death.

"Mrs. Kennedy also had a close spiritual relation with the Cardinal," the auction page states. "This is not the Kennedy Family Bible used to take the oath of office, but a significant artifact closely associated with the assassination and funeral."

Curtis Lindner, director of Americana at Heritage Auctions, told The New York Post that the Bible could fetch as much as $50,000. 

"We've had many Kennedy artifacts go well past that," he was quoted as saying, noting that rocking chairs owned by Kennedy have sold for over $400,000. 

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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