Rosary of Our Lady Stella Maris
Pray the rosary as usual to which has been affixed a Stella Maris medal; concluding on the medal of Our Lady Stella Maris with the Ave Stella Maris.
Ave Stella Maris
Hail bright star of ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest
Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.
Break the captives’ fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine
Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three
Father, Son, and Spirit
One same glory be,
About the Rosary of Our Lady Stella Maris
“Stella Maris ” (“Star of the Sea”) has long been the favorite title by which people of the sea have called on her in whose protection they have always trusted: the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her son, Jesus Christ, accompanied his disciples in their vessels (1), helped them in their work, and calmed the storms (2). And so the Church accompanies seafarers, caring for the special spiritual needs of those who for various reasons live and work in the maritime world.
The biblical and/or theological foundation of this title (Mary, Star of the Sea) may be based on 1 Kings 18:41-45. This text refers to a little cloud appearing above the sea as a sign of hope implying that rain will come and free the land from drought. The little cloud (small as a man’s hand) seen from Mt. Carmel is believed to be the “Star of the Sea” and Mary, thus, the sign of hope which announces freedom and renewal. The Carmelites built a church on Mt. Carmel and gave it the title “Stella Maris.”
The origin of the expression “Stella Maris” is commonly attributed to St. Jerome (d. 420). However, Jerome called Mary “stilla maris”, meaning a drop of the sea. Perhaps a copyist transcribed this as “Stella Maris”. Other authors recording the same Marian symbol include Isidore of Seville (d. 636); Alcuin (d. 804); and Rhabanus Maurus (d. 856).
An explicit reference occurs in Paschasius Radbertus (d. 865):
Mary Star of the Sea must be followed in faith and morals lest we capsize amidst the storm-tossed waves of the sea. She will illumine us to believe in Christ born of her for the salvation of the world.
Hincmar of Reims (d. 882) spoke of Mary as a star of the sea assumed into the heavens.
There are also some ancient Marian hymns related to the title: “Ave Maria Stella” (8th-9th century); and “Alma Redemptoris Mater” (by Herman of Reschenau, 11th century).
Very important for this title is the following twelfth-century prayer from St Bernard of Clairvaux:
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.
You May Like to Read:
Stella Maris: Mary the Star of the Sea
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