In my research on the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, I happened upon Golgotha Monastery, home of the Transalpine Redemptorists. It is located in Papa Stronsay, an island in Orkney, north of Scotland.
On their website, they speak at length of the history of the Mother of God being referred to as Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, from St. Jerome in 400 A.D. to St. Bonaventure (d. 1274), who wrote: “This name is most fitting for Mary, who is to us as a star above the sea….She guides to the landfall in Heaven those who navigate the sea of this world in the ship of innocence or penance. Well do we compare Mary to a star of the sea, because of her shining purity, her brightness, all that she does for us.”
They also speak of the beautiful hymn, Ave Maris Stella! (Hail, Star of the Sea!), as having been composed between 800 and 900 A.D., and tell us that the first monks on Papa Stronsay sung it in 900 A.D. They go on to say: “Papa Stronsay resounds with this hymn again every night as the Fathers and Brothers make their way to the chapel for Night Prayers.”
So here is the beautiful hymn, Ave Maris Stella, as performed by Ambrose Karels, on the CD entitled, “Star of the Sea” . For the lyrics in Latin and English, you may go to the bottom of this page on the website of the Transalpine Redemptorists.