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Ave Maris Stella

Ave, Star of Ocean

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Ave maris stella,
    Dei Mater alma,
    Atque semper Virgo,
    Felix cœli porta.
  2. Sumens illud Ave
    Gabrielis ore,
    Funda nos in pace,
    Mutans Hevæ nomen.
  3. Solve vincla reis,
    Profer lumen cæcis,
    Mala nostra pelle,
    Bona cuncta posce.
  4. Monstra te esse matrem,
    Sumat per te preces,
    Qui pro nobis natus,
    Tulit esse tuus.
  5. Virgo singularis,
    Inter omnes mitis,
    Nos culpis solutos
    Mites fac et castos.
  6. Vitam præsta puram,
    Iter para tutum,
    Ut videntes Jesum,
    Semper collætemur.
  7. Sit laus Deo Patri,
    Summo Christo decus,
    Spiritui sancto,
    Tribus honor unus.
  1. Ave, Star of Ocean,
    Child Divine who barest,
    Mother, Ever-Virgin,
    Heaven’s Portal fairest.
  2. Taking that sweet Ave
    Erst by Gabriel spoken,
    Eva’s name reversing,
    Be of peace the token.
  3. Break the sinners’ fetters,
    Light to blind restoring,
    All our ills dispelling,
    Every boon imploring.
  4. Show thyself a Mother
    In thy supplication;
    He will hear who chose thee
    At His Incarnation.
  5. Maid all maids excelling,
    Passing meek and lowly,
    Win for sinners pardon,
    Make us chaste and holy.
  6. As we onward journey
    Aid our weak endeavor,
    Till we gaze on Jesus
    And rejoice forever.
  7. Father, Son, and Spirit,
    Three in One confessing,
    Give we equal glory
    Equal praise and blessing.
Author: Unknown. It is at least as old as the 9th cent. Meter: Trochaic dimeter, each verse being composed of three trochees. There are nineteen translations, two of which are given here. Liturgical Use: Vespers hymn on Feasts of Our Lady.

The fine translation given above was made by Mr. Athelstan Riley, M.A, for his translation of the Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Little Office,” 1891.

The beautiful translation given below is from the pen of the Rev. G. R. Woodward, M.A. It is a new translation, and by the kindess of its author it is here published for the first time.

There is an article on this hymn in the Cath. Encycl.

  1. “Hail, Star of the Sea, loving Mother of God, and Ever-Virgin, happy Gate of Heaven!'” The name Mary is derived from the Hebrew “Miriam,” which signifies “Star of the Sea”; in Chaldaic it means “Lady.” Cœli porta: By her powerful intercession with her Divine Son she opens for sinners the gates of heaven. Ave: Ave gratia plena: Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus (Luke 1, 28). Read the first of the two articles on Annunciation, in the Cath. Encycl. Cf. also Luke 1, 26-38.
  2. “Receiving that Ave from the mouth of Gabriel, establish us in peace, reversing the name of Eva.” Heva = Eva, which “reversed” gives Ave.
  3. “Break the chains of sinners, give light to the blind, drive away evils, ask for all that’s good.” Vincla for vincula. Cœcis, to those who are spiritually blind, who have eyes and see not (cf. Ps. 134, 16).
  4. “Show thyself to be a Mother; through thee may He receive our prayers—He who, born for us, deigned to be thy Son.” Tuus (Filius).
  5. “Virgin all-excelling, meek above all others, make us, freed from sin, meek and chaste.”
  6. “Preserve our life unspotted, make safe our way, that, seeing Jesus, we may rejoice together forever.”
  7. “To God the Father be praise, to Christ most high be glory, and to the Holy Spirit, to the Three be one honor.” Unus, equal, the same.
  1. Hail, Sea-Star we name thee,
    Ever-Maid acclaim thee,
    God His Mother, Portal
    To the life immortal.
  2. Ave was the token
    By the Angel spoken:
    Peace on earth it telleth,
    Eva’s name re-spelleth.
  3. Free the worldly-minded
    Luminate the blinded.
    Every ill repressing,
    Win us every blessing.
  4. Plead, and play the Mother!
    He will, and none other,
    Born for our salvation,
    Hear thy supplication.
  5. Maiden meek and lowly,
    Singularly holy,
    Loose the sins that chain us;
    Sanctify, sustain us.
  6. Help us live in pureness,
    Smooth our way with sureness,
    Till we also eye Thee,
    Jesu, ever nigh Thee.
  7. Father, Son, we bless Thee,
    Likewise do confess Thee,
    Holy Spirit, Trinal,
    Onely, first and final.