Stella Maris

My favorite of the four Marian liturgical antiphons is Alma Redemptoris Mater. Traditionally, it is used at Compline during the Advent-Christmas cycle, through February 2, the feast of the Presentation. My wife pulled it out frequently this past Fall at our bedtime Compline. I like the line referring to Mary as “star of the sea.” I don’t know why I latch onto that phrase so often.

When I was on retreat in November, there was a walking path I enjoyed daily. At its terminus was the Stella Maris Chapel (interior, above), across the lake from St John’s University and the abbey.

Approaching it on the path, the little shot on the left.

The other side of the chapel, on the right.

One of the interior windows:

And a close-up of the little fish:

Hmm, not so close-up. Sometimes I fumble with one of the side buttons on my phone and get one of those thumbnails. Here’s looking back at the monastery from across the lake:

And while it’s not the little Stella Maris chapel, I pieced together three interior images from the abbey church:

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti …
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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Stella Maris

  1. Chase says:

    You should have seen the interior of the chapel before it was just renovated. It was literally a shell – a huge disappointment to walk all the way out there and not find much. I haven’t seen it since the new statue was installed. I look forward to making it back this summer!

  2. Liam says:

    The import of having a reliably visible star at sea to navigate by becomes clearer when one realizes how utterly dark the sea is at night.

  3. David D. says:

    At various EF Mass locations that I’ve attended, there appears the practice of singing the seasonal Marian antiphon (simple tone) immediately following the Last Gospel at sung Masses. The simple tones seem particularly well-suited for congregational singing.

  4. Pingback: On Retreat | Catholic Sensibility

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