Star of the Sea


Listening to Pope Francis speak to an empty St. Peter’s Square was unthinkable only days ago. But today this is the reality.

Pope Francis spoke of the Bible passage where Jesus is sleeping in a boat with a great storm raging around him. Jesus sleeps in the stern, the back of the boat, the part that sinks first. His apostles wake him out of fear. Jesus asks them, “Why are you afraid? Have you yet no faith?” Pope Francis near the end of his prayer calls upon Blessed Mother Mary, The Star of the Sea, “the Brightest Star in this Tempest,” to guide and protect us through this storm.

Years ago, while vacationing in Duluth, Minnesota, we went to Mass at the St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church. It is a small, older, beautiful church, located on the Duluth hillside overlooking Lake Superior. I always wondered over the years how many sailors heading out in a tempest upon Lake Superior looked up to St. Mary Star of the Sea Church for reassurance. Visiting this church was the first time I heard of Mary as Star of the Sea. Now, when the Holy Father calls upon Blessed Mother, Star of the Sea for help, guidance and protection, I found it comforting. I researched artwork of St. Mary Star of the Sea. I found an image of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Duluth as well as a few other pieces of art. Also, I included the Searfarers’ Prayer written St. Pope John Paul II

O Mary, Star of the Sea, light of every ocean,
guide seafarers across all dark and stormy seas
that they may reach the haven of peace and light
prepared in Him who calmed the sea.

As we set forth upon the oceans of the world
and cross the deserts of our time,
show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb,
for without your Son we are lost.

Pray that we will never fail on life’s journey,
that in heart and mind, in word and deed,
in days of turmoil and in days of calm,
we will always look to Christ and say,
“Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?”

Bright Star of the Sea, guide us!

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