THE FIRST LITHUANIAN BOOK
MAŽVYDAS, MARTYNAS. Catechismusa prasty Szadei, Makslas skaitima raschta yr giesmes del kriksczianistes bei del berneliu iaunu nauiey sugulditas... Königsberg: Hans Weinreich Publishing House, 1547. 79 pp.
"Broliai seserys! Imkit mane ir skaitykit ..." (Brothers and Sisters! Take me and read me...) - you can listen to the first lines from the Foreword of the First Lithuanian Book..
. The first Lithuanian book, prepared by Martynas Mažvydas, Lutheran priest and rector of Ragainė parish. This is the first primer, catechism, book of hymns in Lithuanian. The foreword "Knigieles paczias byla ..." is the first original verse in the Lithuanian language.
The name of Mažvydas was not forgotten. The 400th anniversary of the issue of the book was marked in occupied Lithuania and by the community of Lithuanian émigrés abroad in 1947. In 1976 the park of sculptures established in Klaipėda bears his name, the mountain peak (4560 m.) in the Tien Shan mountains has the name of Martynas Mažvydas. Lithuanian mountaineers were the first to get there in 1979.
Nowadays the motif of M. Mažvydas is often used in works of literature, music and art. Streets of Lithuanian towns are named after him, monuments erected to him. One of them is the monument to Martynas Mažvydas in Klaipėda unveiled in 1997.
In 1997 the 450th anniversary of the first Lithuanian book publishing was celebrated widely in Lithuania and in the World. There were many conferences, exhibitions, special publications issued, the jubilee coin and the 450th anniversary medal were minted at the Mint of Lithuania.