Douay-Rheims: Baronius vs. Loreto


Would anyone be interested in a “mini review” or comparison between these two bibles?

I got a hold of a Loreto and would be happy to share my observations, if anyone is interested.



Pax Christi!

Sure. Sounds interesting. I’m a D-R person. I take it these are two editions of the same translation?

God bless.


Being a bible “nut” and recently getting back into the Douay-Rheims translation, I became very interested in the various editions available. Two hardcover editions came up in my searching and it seemed many people were familiar with one or the other- coming from Baronius Press and Loreto Publications. Since I found little by the way of comparison myself, I thought it might help someone out there if I shared my observations, now that I’ve handled both products.

Size and weight:

While the difference between these two is less than an inch in either dimension, the overall impression is that the Loreto just barely qualifies as a regular or compact bible, while the Baronius is just a bit too big and heavy to be less than large, in my opinion. At 8.5 x 5.75 x1.75, the Loreto is just small enough for me to handle with one hand. And the weight is nothing unusual. The Baronius measures 8.5 x 6.25 x 2. These are not precise measurements as I am using a tape, on my desk, so don’t shoot me if I’m off by 1/16th of an inch- But this should give you an idea what these two bibles feel like. The extra girth of the Baronius makes it a hefty book.

Appearance and construction:

Both of these bibles look very nice on the outside. The Baronius (hereafter BP) is more subdued, with “Holy Bible” and “Douay-Rheims” on the cover and spine. In addition to that, the Loreto (LP) adds a nice cross and gold border around the front cover. Both bibles claim to be leather over hard covers but to me, the BP feels more like real leather than the LP. One thing you’ll notice right off is that the BP has gold gilt edges while the LP does not. That might be a preference thing but keep in mind, the gold treatment provides some protection, whereas this Loreto showed dirt in the edges on day one. The BP has nice stitching around the cover that really adds to the quality look. Both bibles claim to use sewn bindings though, for some reason, the LP just doesn’t seem like a sewn book. I’m not an expert! But the BP looks and feels like other sewn bibles I own when you examine the head and tail or open it up. The LP, while being very flexible and feeling sturdy, looks to me like a quality glued binding. I must admit however, the LP does open flat without any break-in, whereas the BP is a little stiff.


I love the LP ribbons! It has two big, wide (half-inch) ribbons like those found in a sacramentary. I wish all bibles had two ribbons and they were like these. While the BP also has two ribbons, they are the common skinny variety (quarter-inch).


This is easy. The LP is less expensive, wherever you go. Prices for the BP run $49-$55, while the LP can be had for $35-$40.


The all-important matter of the words on the page! It pains me to say this, because I love the idea of the smaller, made in the USA, bible with the fat ribbons but… the LP text has issues. Let me say, I don’t have perfect eyes! I’m no fan of very small or otherwise hard to read type. Others may not be as picky. That being said, I found the text on the LP to be hard to read. While the print is very dark and the paper very white (good things!), the text is just too darn close together for my taste. The margins are also very small. By comparison, the printing on the BP is very similar to that of the Saint Benedict Press/TAN Douay-Rheims bibles. It’s no larger than that in the LP but there is a lot more light between each letter, between each word and between the lines! I imagine this brings us back to the handy size of the LP. Only so many sardines fit in a can, right? If these two bibles have the same books, both have illustrations and other goodies but one is noticeably smaller, it has to come from somewhere. And I would assume that’s a big part of it. It’s worth noting, Baronius provides a PDF text sample on their website.

If I had better eyes, I’d probably prefer the slightly smaller, made in USA bible, with the fat ribbons, from Loreto Publications for $39. But for me, a bible I will never read is of no use, so I would have to go with the Baronius, were I looking to buy a nice, hardcover Douay-Rheims bible.

They’re both very nice bibles and praise God we have so many choices! I hope my observations are helpful to someone. Ultimately, your personal preferences will determine which of these two is worth your money.

Peace to all.


Dont quote me as I only own an older Tan Books Douay, but for ease of reading, I believe the Baronius (as well as the current Tan/SBP Douay is newly typeset, whereas the Loreto and my older Tan Bibles (know this one for sure) are made from scans of an 1899 Douay Bible. That could impact the readability.




Just a quick clarification: the Loreto version, while perhaps scanned (I don’t remember) is from a 1941 edition published by the Douay Bible House, not the 1899 Bible.


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