The first printed book published in the Finnish language is ‘Abckiria’ (ABC-Book), a basic reading primer together with a small Christian catechism, put together by the Finnish reformer Mikael Agrciola. The primer was printed in the royal publishing house of Stockholm, operated by Amund Laurentsson who had been trained by a German book-printer. The first year of printing was likely 1543. Amund Laurentsson would prove to be a close associate to Agricola for many years, since all his nine books would be published by Amund, whom Agricola later referred to as a good friend.
The catechism found in the primer is not a translation of a previously existing catechism, rather it is the result of Agricola combining many different existing works, similarly as he did in many of his other published works. The main sources that Agricola used for this are Luther’s small catechism, Melanchthon’s catechism, and Andreas Osiander’s catechism. The primer begins with a short poem, encouraging both the young and old to learn God’s commandments and to master the Finnish language.