Lekë Matrënga
| Saturday, 07.07.2007, 12:19 PM |  

Page from Matrënga's "Christine Doctrine", 1592
BIOGRAPHY

Lekë Matrënga (1567-1619), known in Italian as Luca Matranga, was an Orthodox cleric of the Italo-Albanian community of Sicily. He was also the author of the second major work of early Albanian literature entitled E mbsuame e krështerë, Rome 1592 (Christian Doctrine), which is a twenty-eight page catechism translated from the Latin. Matrënga’s work contains an introduction in Italian - the catechism itself - being religious instruction on church doctrines in the form of questions and answers, and an eight-line poem which constitutes the earliest specimen of written verse in Albanian.

POETRY

Spiritual song

I call you all who wish indulgence,
All good Christians, men and women,
Go to mass, the Lord commands it,
For no man is sinless 'mongst us;
Blithe is he who ponders God
And remembers he is mortal,
Christ will welcome him to heaven
With his children and his brethren.

[Cghíthaeue u thaerés..., from the volume Embsuame e chraesterae, 1592. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie and first published in English in History of Albanian literature, New York 1995, vol. 1, p. 56]



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