A little about the Catena, from Baronius:
The Catena is so contrived that it reads as a running commentary, the several extracts being dovetailed together by the compiler. And it consists wholly of extracts, the compiler introducing nothing of his own but the few connecting particles which link one extract to the next. There are also a few quotations headed ‘Glossa,’ which none of the editors have been able to find in any author, and which from their character, being briefly introductory of a new chapter or a new subject, may be probably assigned to the compiler; though even this is dispensed with whenever it is possible: when a Father will furnish the words for such transition or connection, they are dexterously introduced. In the Gospel of S. Matthew there are only a few other passages which seem to belong to S. Thomas. These are mostly short explanations or notes upon something that seemed to need explanation in some passage quoted, and which in a modern book would have been thrown into the form of a foot note. An instance of this may be seen in p. 405. The only important passages of this kind are some Glosses on chap. xxvi. 26. which will be noticed in their place.
However, instead of analyzing the Catena itself, I would like to point out some of the fantastic features of the book itself. First off, The text of this edition has been digitally reset to faithfully reproduce that of the 1841 edition of Catena Aurea as published by John Henry Parker, Oxford; and J. G. F. and J. Rivington, London 1841. As with everything Baronius does, the results are top of the line. Each page is clear to read and the print is dark. There are also generous margins if you wish to add your own annotations. (You can see a clearer page sample here.) If you own Baronius' edition of Divine Intimacy, a similar clear and crisp page presentation is found in the Catena.
These bound volumes are a pleasure to hold and read from. The easily lay open flat on a table, not matter which page one is on. Each hardback volume, which measures out at 6"x 8.25", is bound in leather, including fine marbled endpapers. As many of you know, I had my Knox edition rebound last year. It took me a few months to finally pull the trigger on it since I really liked the leather hardback. However, one of the things I liked most were the marble endpapers in the Knox. Even to this day, I sneak a peak at my goatskin Knox almost wishing to see those lovely endpapers. Oh well! I won't be having this set rebound!
Each volume has a sturdy sewn binding and the pages are gold gilded. Again, and like almost everything Baronius does, when you read from these volumes, you know that you are reading from a book that has been lovingly produced. Baronius does not do things on the cheap. Yes, you will have to pay a bit more for their products, but they are absolutely worth the price. We need more Catholic publishers who are committed to producing high-quality Bibles, missals, and other books. Finally, a nice addition to each volume is the inclusion of two ribbons.
The Catena is, of course, available in various digital sources, including some of the Bible software products that are out there. However, if you like to have a beautifully made hardbound edition, Baronius Press has the set for you. The set is available on the Baronius website for $149.00. Get it!
Thank you to Baronius Press for providing me this review copy