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Macedonia 329

     From March 22, 1554 to January 5, 1556 Gjon Buzuku, an Albanian priest (possibly a monk or a bishop) translated the missal into the Gheg dialect of Albania, and published it in book form. The only copy of the book, preserved in the Apostolic Library in the Vatican, is missing the frontispiece and the first 16 pages. It is thought to have been published in either Venice of Shkodėr.

     There are 220 pages of two columns, with decorated initials. The Latin alphabet, with some additional letter is used. The dialect of Maltzia e Madhe (Great Highlands) was used with an archaic vocabulary.

     The book was discovered in 1740 by Gjon Nicokkė Kazazi, the Albanian Bishop of Skhup. It was lost and rediscovered in 1909. In 1930 it was photographed and a photocopy was placed in the library in Tiranė.

     In Albanian it is known as МЕШАРИ, Meshari in English, which means Missal.” The stamp was issued in 2005, the 450th anniversary of the translation by Gjon Buzuku, by the Republic of Macedonia.


SCN 329


     There are reports that the Meshari disappeared in 1996. It is not clear to me whether the copy that disappeared is the original in the Apostolic Library in the Vatican, or the photocopy preserved in the library in Tiranė. It seems likely that it is the former.