The Catholic book stands in a proud tradition.

Norway’s first book was published by the Archbishop of Nidaros in 1519, so St. Eystein bookstore has roots that reach far back in time, says head of St. Olav Publisher, Kristine Dingstad. She is holding a facsimile edition of the first printed book in Norway, Missale Nidarosiense.

Kristine Dingstad holding a facsimile edition of Missale Nidarosiense, borrowed for the occasion from the library of parish priest Egil Mogstad.

She visited the bookstore in connection with a book event where author Henning Laugerud presented his recent book “Reformasjon uten folk” (Reformation without people).

When Missale Nidarosiense was printed, there was for the first time in Norway a common liturgical standard. This continued to live for quite a while after the Lutheran Reformation in many parishes, she says. That this book was produced as early as 1519, shows what a misconception it is to call the Middle ages “The dark ages”. This was the leading theme during Laugerud’s presentation as well. He brought his listeners back to a time with vital Catholic traditions, where the common people took part in the life of the church.

2019 has been proclaimed “The Year of the Book” in Norway, says Kristine Dingstad. As Catholics we have reason to be very happy about this, since the book that is being celebrated is our Missale Nidarosiense. At the Frankfurt bookfare this year, Norway will be the Guest of Honour. The Catholic book is a small niche in Norway of today, but it stands in a 500 years old tradition. A living faith depends on study and contemplation. For that we need Catholic books, she says, and a bookstore where we can buy them!