Our Lady Star Of The Sea


Do you know anything about the meaning and history of this title?

I am joining the Merchant Navy this coming February and I was searching for a patron saint when I discovered this title of the Blessed Virgin. I searched the internet but I can’t find an in depth discussion of Mary as the “Star of the Sea.”

What do you know about this title? Is is well-known? Is it popular? Do you have a devotion to the Mother of God under this title?


This may help: campus.udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq17.html


I like this title a lot. Our Lady is indeed Star of the Sea to me, for she always gives me some light when I’m in darkness; her guidance and protection is so sure and strong. She is always my refuge when I feel abandoned, confused or troubled.


it's a beautiful title for Our Lady :)


I think it was St Faustina who said that souls in Purgatory call Our Lady "The star of the sea"! :)


I think it was St Faustina who said that souls in Purgatory call Our Lady "The star of the sea"!

That's interesting. Why would the Holy Souls in purgatory invoke Our Blessed Mother under this title?


[quote="Dempsey1919, post:6, topic:179910"]
That's interesting. Why would the Holy Souls in purgatory invoke Our Blessed Mother under this title?


From Faustina's diary, #20:

In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but to no avail for themselves; only we can come to their aid … their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in Purgatory. The souls call her "The Star of the Sea." She brings them refreshment.

Perhaps because she is a beacon of hope? Because, by virtue of her Assumption, she is a "star" who has preceded them into heaven, where they long to be? A quote from this link campus.udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq17.html :

Hincmar of Reims (d. 882) spoke of Mary as "a star of the sea assumed into the heavens."


I can’t help with the real topic of this thread, but it did bring back very warm memories of a winter weekend retreat during college at the excellent retreat house “Stella Maris” on the beach in New Jersey.


It’s based on a mistaken etymology for the name Mary (Maria in Latin), thinking it was derived from the word MARE, meaning “sea”.


resurrecting thread because I had the same question, origin of the title and devotion to Mary under this title. Journey Home had a guest, a Norwegian folk singer who sang the Latin hymn of that title to the tune I associate with a Christmas carol. The link above to the UDayton site is helpful, but would be interested in the song/prayer origin as well

here is the wiki link to article about the song (plainsong chant) if anyone else is up tonight, we used to pray the prayer all the time, another devotion that seems gone with the wind


That is what I’ve read too. However, even though the name may have originally been based on linguistic inaccuracy, the Fathers of the Church are quite right about its appropriateness :). It is a very popular name for Mary among both ordinary Catholics and canonized saints.


There is a statue of Mary, Star of the Sea on top of St. Mary's Basilica in Galveston, TX. St. Mary's is the oldest cathedral in TX and the prayer for protection is prayed after every Mass, or it least it was when I was there.


Mary, Star of Hope

  1. With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea”: Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us (cf. Jn 1:14).

  2. So we cry to her: Holy Mary, you belonged to the humble and great souls of Israel who, like Simeon, were “looking for the consolation of Israel” (Lk 2:25) and hoping, like Anna, “for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38). Your life was thoroughly imbued with the sacred scriptures of Israel which spoke of hope, of the promise made to Abraham and his descendants (cf. Lk 1:55). In this way we can appreciate the holy fear that overcame you when the angel of the Lord appeared to you and told you that you would give birth to the One who was the hope of Israel, the One awaited by the world. Through you, through your “yes”, the hope of the ages became reality, entering this world and its history. You bowed low before the greatness of this task and gave your consent: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). When you hastened with holy joy across the mountains of Judea to see your cousin Elizabeth, you became the image of the Church to come, which carries the hope of the world in her womb across the mountains of history. But alongside the joy which, with your Magnificat, you proclaimed in word and song for all the centuries to hear, you also knew the dark sayings of the prophets about the suffering of the servant of God in this world. Shining over his birth in the stable at Bethlehem, there were angels in splendour who brought the good news to the shepherds, but at the same time the lowliness of God in this world was all too palpable. The old man Simeon spoke to you of the sword which would pierce your soul (cf. Lk 2:35), of the sign of contradiction that your Son would be in this world. Then, when Jesus began his public ministry, you had to step aside, so that a new family could grow, the family which it was his mission to establish and which would be made up of those who heard his word and kept it (cf. Lk 11:27f). Notwithstanding the great joy that marked the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, in the synagogue of Nazareth you must already have experienced the truth of the saying about the “sign of contradiction” (cf. Lk 4:28ff). In this way you saw the growing power of hostility and rejection which built up around Jesus until the hour of the Cross, when you had to look upon the Saviour of the world, the heir of David, the Son of God dying like a failure, exposed to mockery, between criminals. Then you received the word of Jesus: “Woman, behold, your Son!” (Jn 19:26). From the Cross you received a new mission. From the Cross you became a mother in a new way: the mother of all those who believe in your Son Jesus and wish to follow him. The sword of sorrow pierced your heart. Did hope die? Did the world remain definitively without light, and life without purpose? At that moment, deep down, you probably listened again to the word spoken by the angel in answer to your fear at the time of the Annunciation: “Do not be afraid, Mary!” (Lk 1:30). How many times had the Lord, your Son, said the same thing to his disciples: do not be afraid! In your heart, you heard this word again during the night of Golgotha. Before the hour of his betrayal he had said to his disciples: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn 14:27). “Do not be afraid, Mary!” In that hour at Nazareth the angel had also said to you: “Of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:33). Could it have ended before it began? No, at the foot of the Cross, on the strength of Jesus’s own word, you became the mother of believers. In this faith, which even in the darkness of Holy Saturday bore the certitude of hope, you made your way towards Easter morning. The joy of the Resurrection touched your heart and united you in a new way to the disciples, destined to become the family of Jesus through faith. In this way you were in the midst of the community of believers, who in the days following the Ascension prayed with one voice for the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14) and then received that gift on the day of Pentecost. The “Kingdom” of Jesus was not as might have been imagined. It began in that hour, and of this “Kingdom” there will be no end. Thus you remain in the midst of the disciples as their Mother, as the Mother of hope. Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom! Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way! --Pope Benedict XVI Spe Salvi


My family prays every day to Mary “Star of Hope”…


:3 that's what my middle name "Estelle" means,
Our Lady Star of the Sea is for protection for those sailing the seas, and also for all Christians who need guidance in their lives.


Ave Maris Stella

1. Ave maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper Virgo,
Felix caeli porta.Hail, bright star of ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.2. Sumens illud Ave
Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace,
Mutans Hevae nomen.Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.3. Solve vincla reis,
Profer lumen caecis:
Mala nostra pelle,
Bona cuncta posce.Break the captives’ fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.4. Monstra t(e) esse matrem:
Sumat per te preces,
Qui pro nobis natus,
Tulit esse tuus.Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.5. Virgo singularis,
Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos,
Mites fac et castos.Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.6. Vitam praesta puram,
Iter para tutum:
Ut videntes Iesum,
Semper collaetemur.Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Joy forevermore.7. Sit laus Deo Patri,
Summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto,
Tribus honor unus. Amen.Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.


Thank-you, Rebecca. That was lovely :). I love the picture, and the poem (hymn?) is beautiful.


[quote="Lief_Erikson, post:16, topic:179910"]
Thank-you, Rebecca. That was lovely :). I love the picture, and the poem (hymn?) is beautiful.


You're welcome. The link above the picture goes to youtube, where you can hear the hymn sung. :) I like it too.


My high school was a St Mary’s Star of the Sea. It was about 50 yards from the beach, so an entirely appropriate title :smiley:

Those seagulls sure made lunch recess very interesting, though (think only a few notches below Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’ :eek: )


Hail, Queen of Heaven, The Ocean Star


Hail, Queen of Heaven!



Dear Bookcat, thank you so much for sharing this reading. It is absolutely beautiful and true. Thank you.

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