Aleteia

When tossed about on the sea of life, pray this prayer for guidance

star of the sea
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Our Lady, Star of the Sea, is always there to lead us to a safe harbor.

Our Lady was given the name “Mary” at birth, and a common interpretation of her Hebrew name was that it meant “star of the sea.” This spiritual meaning of her name has led to many mariner analogies that have been applied to the spiritual life.

For example, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Mary means Star of the Sea, for as mariners are guided to port by the ocean star, so Christians attain to glory through Mary’s maternal intercession.”

The Blessed Mother is seen as a light in the darkness that can guide us to a safe port (the Church), where we can find refreshment and peace.

One popular English hymn highlights this symbolism and can be used as a personal prayer in times of turmoil, when the “sea of life” tosses you about. It was written by Fr. John Lingard in the 19th century and has endured as a a beautiful meditation on Mary’s role in our lives, especially when we find ourselves wandering and in need of guidance.

Hail, Queen of Heav’n, the ocean Star,
⁠Guide of the wand’rer here below!
Thrown on life’s surge we claim thy care,
⁠Save us from peril and from woe.
⁠Mother of Christ, Star of the sea,
⁠Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid,
⁠We sinners make our prayers through thee
Remind thy Son that He has paid
⁠The price of our iniquity.
⁠Virgin most pure, Star of the sea,
⁠Pray for the sinner, pray for me.

Sojourners in this vale of tears,
⁠O thee, blest Advocate, we cry,
Pity our sorrows, calm our fears,
⁠And soothe with hope our misery.
⁠Refuge in grief, Star of the sea,
⁠Pray for the mourner, pray for me.

And while to Him who reigns above,
⁠In Godhead One, in Persons Three,
The source of life, of grace, of love,
⁠Homage we pay on bended knee;
⁠Do thou, bright Queen, Star of the sea.
⁠Pray for thy children, pray for me.

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