THE 12 STARS OF MARY DEVOTION

Let us offer praise and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity, Who has shown us the Virgin Mary, clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and on her head a mystic crown of twelve stars. Forever and ever. 
Amen
Let us give praise and thanks to the Eternal Father, Who chose her for His daughter. 
Amen
Silently, pray the Our Father...
1
Praised be the Eternal Father, Who predestined her to be the Mother of His Divine Son. Amen
Hail Mary...
2
Praised be the Eternal Father, Who preserved her from all stain of sin in her conception.
Amen
Hail Mary...
3
Praised be the Eternal Father, Who adorned her at her birth with His most excellent gifts. 
Amen
Hail Mary...
4
V. Praised be the Eternal Father, Who gave her Saint Joseph to be her companion and most pure spouse.
Amen.
Hail Mary... Glory Be To The Father... V. Let us give praise and thanks to the Divine Son, Who chose her for His Mother. R. Amen.
Silently, pray the Our Father...
5
V. Praised be the Divine Son, Who became incarnate in her womb and there abode for nine months. 
R. Amen.
Hail Mary...
6
V. Praised be the Divine Son, Who was born of her and was nourished at her breast. 
R. Amen.
Hail Mary...
7
V. Praised be the Divine Son, Who in His childhood willed to be taught by her. 
R. Amen.
Hail Mary...
8
V. Praised be the Divine Son, Who revealed to her the mystery of the Redemption of the world.
R. Amen.
Glory Be To The Father...
V. Let us give praise and thanks to the Holy Spirit, Who took her for His spouse.
R. Amen.
Silently, pray the Our Father...
9
V. Praised be the Holy Spirit, Who revealed first to her His Name of Holy Spirit. 
R. Amen
Hail Mary...
10
V. Praised be the Holy Spirit, by Whose operation she was at once Virgin and Mother. 
R. Amen
Hail Mary...
11
V. Praised be the Holy Spirit, by Whose power she was the living temple of the ever-blessed Trinity. 
R. Amen
Hail Mary...
12
Praised be the Holy Spirit, by Whom she was exalted in Heaven above every living creature. 
R. Amen
Hail Mary...
Glory Be To The Father...
Antiphon:
Let us praise Mary, who hath done so much for our good, and let us say to her: God hail thee, Mary, Mother of Clemency, Comfortress of the Afflicted, Redemptress of Captives. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people.
V. Remember thy congregation *, O Mary. R. Which belongs to thee from the beginning.
Let Us Pray
O God, Who by means of the Most Glorious Mother of Thy Divine Son, didst enrich the Church with a new religious family for the redemption of the faithful of Christ from pagan oppression, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be freed from our sins and from the bondage of the devil by the merits and intercession of her whom we devoutly venerate as the foundress of so great a work.
R. Amen
Hail, Holy Queen...

The Twelve-Star Devotion is of baroque origin and expression. It originated with the special attention attributed to Mary as Regina Mundi or Imperatrix Mundi in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The biblical reference is that of Revelation 12:1b conjuring up the “great sign of the woman in the sky, … clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Twelve is a number of perfection; it symbolizes the twelve tribes of the Old Testament people and the twelve apostles in the New Testament. In this particular devotion, the number twelve–the twelve stars–are seen in reference to the graces, privileges and charisms received by Our Lady from God. Mary, the Queen of Heaven–a typical baroque title!–is crowned with her perfections, one star for each one of the perfections. Here are these twelve perfections which became the object of the Twelve-Star Devotion:
1. Predestination before creation
2. Without original sin conceived
3. Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit
4. Virgin before and after giving birth
5. Birth giver of Jesus Christ
6. Fullness of grace
7. Introduced to the Mystery of the Trinity
8. Seat of Wisdom
9. Superior to the angels and humans
10. Installed as Queen
11. Called to be Mediatrix
12. Revered by all creatures.
These perfections of Our Lady were recited or sung in litany form or became the object of readings, meditations and musical accompaniment. The devotion was used in parishes but led to elaborate celebrations in monasteries.
Reference to the stars surrounding the head of the apocalyptic woman and their symbolic interpretation did not originate only in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We know of at least one earlier noteworthy example of such practice. Saint Bonaventure, in his Sermons on the Blessed Virgin Mary deals extensively with the twelve-star symbolism. In Sermo VI (devoted to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), he compares the twelve stars to Mary's prerogatives or privileges.
He elaborates first on Mary's sinlessness (immunitas a peccato) or better, immunity with regard to sin. The second star stands for highest purity (puritas in summo). The third embodies fullness of grace (plenitudo gratiae), and the fourth reflects her perfect knowledge of God, insofar as God may be known in this world. Stars five and six highlight Our Lady's perfection of love (perfectio caritatis) and its actual concrete expression (actus excellentissimus caritatis communicatio). Mary is exalted beyond all other pure creatures (7--super omnem puram creaturam exaltatio). We see in her the very embodiment of dignity (appropriatio dignitatis) which is also expressed in the Marian symbol of the Gate of Heaven (8). The remaining four stars extol Mary's motherhood: she gave birth without woe or dolor (9--mater genuit sine vae); she is mother and virgin (10--ipsa est mater et virgo); her dignity as mother is of the highest degree because of the divine nature of her son (11--tanto est altior, quanto Deus homine est sublimior); and finally, Mary is not only mother of God according to the flesh, but also mother of men and women according to the Spirit (12--non tantum est ipsa Mater Dei carnalis, [sed etiam] hominum spiritualis). See D. Fleming, S. Bonaventurae Opera Omnia, Tomus IX, 1901, 702-706.

Photo:Circle of 12 stars 
Mary, Carlo Dolci (Italian artist, 1616 - 1687) |
THE 12 STARS OF MARY DEVOTION THE 12 STARS OF MARY DEVOTION Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 16:01 Rating: 5

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