Abo or Turku
A brief description.
Missale Aboense was the first book printed for Finland. As its name suggests, it was a book used for mass. It follows the tradition of the Dominican liturgy, which around the year 1330 was adopted as the official liturgy of the see of Turku. This poor Bishopric could not afford to have its own missal printed, but its Dominican tradition came to the rescue.
At the same time as the Missale Aboense was printed, a simultaneous printing appeared for the Dominican order's needs elsewhere in the Scandinavian countries. In the Missale Aboense the main difference from this were the necessary local features of the Turku see in the calendar of saints.
At that time there were no printing shops in Finland. (The first one was established in 1642.) The Missale was commissioned by Bishop Konrad Bitz from the Lübeck printer Bartholomeus Ghotan.
Bitz dated his introduction to the book, Turku, 17 August 1488, and it was published in the same year. The Missale was printed on both parchment and paper. This firstborn of Finnish literature ran to some 550 folio pages. With regard to beauty of typography, it still competes successfully for a leading place among Finnish books. A facsimile edition of the work was brought out in 1971 and 1988.
Abo or Turku.
Abo (Swedish), Turku (Finnish) was founded in the 13th century, is the oldest and now the fifth largest city in Finland, at the mouth of the Aura river in the southwest of the country. Turku has one of the largest Finland-Swedish population in the country. Due to its location, the Port of Turku is one of the busiest seaports in Finland with around 3.7 million passengers per year.
Turku has a cultural identity as Finland's historical center. It was also the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland from 1809 to 1812 after which time Helsinki was made the capital. It also hosted the country's first university, The Royal Academy of Turku.
The ecclesiastical situation.
According to the older Chronicon, Bero was the first Bishop to be buried in Räntämäki, apparently in Koroinen, the semi-fortified episcopal residence near Turku along the Aura river. Archaeological excavations have revealed three episcopal graves from the church ruins, rather certainly belonging to Bero and his two successors that were all claimed to have been buried there. It is not known, when the see was moved to Koroinen, but Bishop Thomas is known to have worked in Nousiainen still in 1234. Some historians believe that the see was moved to Koroinen already before Bero, even as early as 1229, but that remains speculative.
The modest cathedral in Koroinen, entirely made of wood at the time of Bero, was dedicated to Saint Mary, like the previous see in Nousiainen. Cathedral's dedication to Saint Mary continued also later, when it was moved to its current location in Turku at the end of the 13th century.
In addition to Koroinen, there were larger Swedish garrisons four kilometers along the Aura river inland, later known as the "Old Castle of Lieto".
The Dominicans in Finland.
Koroinen was also the home of the first Dominican priory in Finland. According to Dominican annals of their Skänninge priory, the brotherhood seems to have arrived in the country with Bero and his retinue in 1249. Dominicans also left Koroinen with the Bishop at the end of the 13th century, moving close to the new Cathedral of Turku. Their priory in Turku was dedicated to Saint Olav.The Dominicans worked in Turku in the years 1240 – 1536. The scholar friars travelled around preaching in popular speech and brought thus civilisation amongst plain people.
100 years of Veritas.
The Veritas Group celebrated its centennial anniversary in autumn 2005. In honor of this jubilee year, Veritas bestowed the monument ‘Dominikaanit Turussa’ (The Dominicans in Turku) to the City of Turku and published the book ‘Veritas – Totuus!’ (Veritas - Truth), which deals with the Dominican friars in Turku during the Middle Ages. The 100 years of Veritas history has also been documented and a complete company history was published to coincide with the jubilee year celebrations.
The 'Dominicans in Turku memorial’ is designed by the Turku
artist Kimno Ojaniemi and unveiled on 7 October 2005.
It represents two progressing Dominicans with staff.
Finland 1988, Mi 1058, Sc 775.
500th anniversary of the first printed book in Finland.
The text: Matthew 21, 1-3: (1) et tunc adpropinquassent Hierosolymis et venissent Bethfage ad montem Oliveti (2) tunc Jesus misit duos discipulos dicens eis ite in castellum quod contra vos est et statim invenietis asnam alligatam et pullum cum ea (3) solvite et adducite mihi et si quis vobis aliquid dixerit dicite quia Dominus his opus habet et confestim dimittet eos.
Deleted text cursive. Source: Harry Manie: Bijbelteksten op postzegels. Publication of the Gabriel Society of the Netherlands, 2007.
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