Mother Maria (Lydia Gysi)

Click here for sample verses from the version by Mother Maria.


Title: The Psalms • An Exploratory Translation / with a preface. [By] Mother Maria (Lydia Gysi)
Date: 1973
Publisher: Newport Pagnell, Bucks. England (U.K.): The Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption / Filgrave
Contents: The Psalms. • Preface
References: Chamberlain 340-10
Images: Cover, Title page
Location: Collection Bibelarchiv–Birnbaum. Karlsruhe/ Baden. Germany

Comments: Softcover octavo, sewn binding, 304 pp. Scripture text in single column, set paragraph–wise. Psalm–superscriptions and verse– numberings are not given.
Mother Maria wrote a five–paged preface. There she takes the reader into her journey from studying the Psalter via singing and praying it to the very moment when she received the blessing of entering into the life of this Book and experiencing it „with the Name of Jahwe“. This very personal approach to the Psalter is a pleasure to read for everyone who wants to expect more from this Book than what mere Hebrew literature or tunes of religious Psalmody could offer.
Other than what could be expected from a Psalm Book published by a Greek Orthodox Monastery, this Old Testament Book is translated directly from the Biblia Hebraica, ed. by R. Kittel and P. Kahle (1937) and with the help of L. Köhler & W. Baumgartner´s “Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros“ (1953).

The attention to this scarce Book of Psalms was drawn to the collector by reading the „Translator‘s Preface“, written by author and translator Donald Sheehan in his »The Psalms of David • Translated from the Septuagint Greek« (Eugene OR (U.S.A.), 2013), wherein he discovered what Mother Maria had found in translating the Hebrew Psalter: that every psalm has a unique face; that is, each psalm possesses something very like personhood.

“Mother Maria of Normanby“ was born as Lydia Gysi in Basel, Switzerland, on May 14th, 1912 of Methodist parents. After leaving school she trained as a nurse, qualifying in 1935. In 1937 she was received into the Orthodox Church and after the war, during which she worked as a midwife, first in Zürich (Switzerland) and then in France, she embarked on six years of theological studies. After this she came to England with the idea of the monastic life in her mind and in 1958 was professed as an Orthodox nun in the Anglican Benedictine community in West Mailing. In 1965 she was joined by Sister Thekla (Marina Sharf, 1918-2011) and the community, now in Normanby near Whitby, was born. Mother Maria passed away in 1977.


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