Hail, O Star of the ocean, God's own Mother blest, ever sinless Virgin, gate of heav'nly rest. -Stella Maris -ancient marian hymn
When evening shades are falling
O'er ocean’s sunny sleep,
To pilgrims’ hearts recalling
Their home beyond the deep;
When rest, o'er all descending,
The shores with gladness smile,
And lutes, their echoes blending,
Are heard from isle to isle:
Then, Mary, Star of the Sea,
We pray, we pray, to thee.

- Thomas Moore
Star of the Sea, Seafarers Prayers
Star of the Sea, Light Our Way
Star of the Sea so radiant in the glory of Gods Love,
Your crown outshining all the stars of heaven up above,
O, lovely Queen of Peace, gowned in azure's of the sea,
Help us find the way to Jesus, in your wise serenity.
We ask you Pearl of Grace to grant us vision, courage, will,
So 'peace on earth' , that miracle, at last might be fulfilled!
Dear Mother of the Church , blessed beacon of God's Light,
May you always guide your children on the stormy seas of life.
Make our hearts into safe harbors, where dear Jesus is received
Hear our prayer, O, Spiritual Vessel, Mother of God, Star of the Sea.

O my only and sovereign Lady, who art the sole consolation that I receive from God; thou who art the only celestial dew that gives me refreshment in my pains; thou who art the light of my soul when it is surrounded with darkness; thou who art my guide in jouneyings, my strength in weakness; my treasure in poverty, the balm of my wounds, my consolation in sorrow, thou who art my refuge in miseries and the hope of my salvation; listen to my prayers, have pity on me as it becomes the Mother of a God who has such love for men.
- St Germanus of Constantinople
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. This devotion towards Our Lady with this ancient title is popular throughout the Catholic world.
Stella Maris "sea-star" is a name of α Ursae Minoris or Polaris, the "guiding star" (also "lodestar", "ship star", "steering star", etc.) because it has been used for celestial navigation at sea since antiquity. The name is applied to the Virgin Mary in Saint Jerome's Latin translation of the Onomasticon by Eusebius of Caesarea,[1] although this is in fact a misnomer based on a transcription error. For reaching this meaning the Hebrew name Miryam had to go through a series of transformations: in Judeo-Aramaic it became Maryām (מרים), and this form was rendered in Greek as Mariam (Μαριάμ) or Maria. Mariam, in Hebrew, can have the meaning of "drop of the sea" if understood as "mar-yam": מר mar is a rare biblical word for "drop" (Isaiah 40:15 is the only instance in the Hebrew Bible where it takes this meaning), and yam means "sea".[2] St Jerome adopted this interpretation and translated the name into Latin as Stilla Maris, "drop of the sea", but at some later stage a copyist transcribed this into Stella Maris, "star of the sea", and this transcription error became widespread.[3] Another opinion states that Jerome himself interpreted the name as meaning "star of the sea" or Stella Maris, by relating it to a Hebrew word for star, מאור (ma'or), from the verb אור ('or), to be light or shine.
Paschasius Radbertus in the ninth century wrote of Mary, Star of the Sea, as a guide to be followed on the way to Christ "lest we capsize amid the storm-tossed waves of the sea." At this time too the plainsong hymn "Ave Maris Stella" ("Hail, Star of the Sea"), became increasingly popular.
In the twelfth century, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: "If the winds of temptation arise; If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary; If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary. Should anger, or avarice, or fleshly desire violently assail the frail vessel of your soul, look at the star, call upon Mary."[4]
Pope Pius XII in his encyclical, Doctor Mellifluus, also quoted Bernard of Clairvaux in saying; Mary ... is interpreted to mean 'Star of the Sea.' This admirably befits the Virgin Mother.. (for) as the ray does not diminish the brightness of the star, so neither did the Child born of her tarnish the beauty of Mary's virginity
Devotional Applications
The idea of Mary as a guiding star for seafarers has led to devotion to Our Lady, Star of the Sea in many Catholic coastal and fishing communities. Numerous churches, schools and colleges are dedicated to Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea, or Mary, Star of the Sea.
Stella Maris Monastery, the foundation house of the Carmelite order was established on Mount Carmel, Israel, in the early thirteenth century. The abbey was destroyed several times, but a refounded Stella Maris monastery is still considered the headquarters of the order.
Devotions to this title of Mary are found in the popular Catholic Hymn, Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star and the ancient prayer Ave Maris Stella.
Stella Maris Mass for seafarers
The Apostleship of the Sea has for many years now, been commemorating the Feast of Stella Maris, Our Lady, Star of the Sea, with Mass each year on the 25 September. It is a day to pray for all seafarers and give thanks for their contribution to global trade. Masses in 2015 will be held in Glasgow, 10th September, Portsmouth on 23rd September, Southwark, London on 24th September, Aberdeen on 1st October and Plymouth on 8th October.[6] In his 2014 homily at a Mass in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, London, Apostleship of the Sea's Bishop Promoter Bishop Tom Burns SM said, "God speaks to seafarers through Mary, Star of the Sea, and through those in the Apostleship of the Sea who act in the name of Mary".
Photo: The statue of Mary, with a rainbow in the background, in the harbour of Volendam, Holland.
STELLA MARIS-MARY, STAR OF THE SEA STELLA MARIS-MARY, STAR OF THE SEA Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 10:04 Rating: 5

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