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FEast: Sept. 27th
Patron of:  
sailors, the ocean, marine life, fishermen, life's storms


Stella Maris



In the 5th century, St. Jerome translated Mary’s name as “Miryam”, which means “drop in the ocean”. A local dialect of another mistranslation soon changed that definition, “stilla maris”, to “stella maris”, meaning star of the sea. This devotion caught on, however, as St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Paschasius Radbertus, Pope Pius XII, St. Louis de Montfort, and St. Anthony of Padua all wrote on and were inspired by this title. It is used to describe her as a guide through the storms of our lives, a directing beacon to Jesus, a calmer of storms, and an anchoring star to look to no matter what else has overtaken us. It has long been popular with actual sailors as well, and she has become known as protector of the ocean.




We as guardian and mother of the sea, and all that is within it or traveling over it, be our guiding light. Protect our earth’s waters and all those humans and creatures that live in or near it. Help each of us, too, as we navigate our life’s course and weather rough waters. Amen.

Art Reflection


In this image, Mary is surrounded by many traditional symbols of life on, and in, the ocean. She has traditional sailor tattoos of a ship, an octopus, and an anchor (also a christian symbol), her hair looks like waves or kelp, she wears a crown made of shells, she holds a sea turtle caught in a fishing net, and her halo is reminiscent of an antique compass - a sailor's method of navigation. Her dress and her crown are also sprinkled with stars, which have been used for navigation by nearly all cultures for thousands of years.

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