STELLA MARIS ( OUR LADY, STAR OF THE SEA


"Sweet Star of the Sea."

Deep night hath come down on us, Mother, deep night,
And we need more than ever the guide of Thy light;
For the darker the night is, the brighter should be
Thy beautiful shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

“Look to the Star! Call upon Mary! In danger, in difficulty or in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary, keep her name on your lips, never let it pass out of your heart. Following in her footsteps, you will not go astray: praying to her, you will not fall into despair: thinking of her you will not err. While she keeps hold of your hand, you will not fall … you will not grow weary … you will have no fear … enjoying her protection, you will reach the goal.”
(Saint Bernard)

***Our Lady, Star of the Sea*** is an ancient title for the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The words Star of the Sea are a translation of the Latin title Stella Maris.

The title was used to emphasize Mary's role as a sign of hope and as a guiding star for Christians, especially gentiles, whom the Old Testament Israelites metaphorically referred to as the sea, meaning anyone beyond the "coasts", or, that is to say, sociopolitical, and religious (Mosaic law), borders of Israelite territory. Under this title, the Virgin Mary is believed to intercede as a guide and protector of those who travel or seek their livelihoods on the sea. This aspect of the Virgin has led to Our Lady, Star of the Sea, being named as patroness of the Catholic missions to seafarers, the Apostleship of the Sea, and to many coastal churches being named Stella Maris or Mary, Star of the Sea.

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