Our Lady Star of the Sea
Devotion to Mary as the Star of the Sea or "Stella Maris" goes back to early medieval times. The early Church Fathers spoke of Mary as the lodestar guiding the faithful to Christ. St. 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."
Sailors and fisherman, however, took the title much more literally and took Mary as their special patron. Those who feared being lost or wrecked at sea prayed especially to Mary for guidance and protection.
Here we see Mary robed in her traditional white and blue rising up above the foam of the ocean waves. The halo above her head is also a compass, marked with North, South, East, and West. Above the halo is the Pole Star, indicating the true north. Mary cradles in her arms a ship, showing how she keeps those at sea safe through her intercession. And at her feat, the anchor (a symbol not only of seafaring but also of the Church which is sometimes called the Ship of Peter) is also a cross with the corpus on it.
Vivian Imbruglia’s father served a full career in the US Navy, and she felt especially close to him as she prayed and wrote this icon. It has become especially popular with people in the Navy.
The feast day of Our Lady Star of the Sea is May 31. AMDG
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