St Bernard, who had a great love of our Lady, spoke about her in these words: ‘“And the Virgin’s name was Mary”. Let us speak a little about this name, which is said to mean “star of the sea”, and which so well befits the Virgin Mother. Rightly is she likened to a star. As a star emits a ray without being dimmed, so the Virgin brought forth her Son without receiving any injury. The ray takes naught from the brightness of the star, nor the Son from His Mother’s virginal integrity. This is the noble star risen out of Jacob, whose ray illumines the whole world, whose splendour shines in the heavens, penetrates the abyss, and, traversing the whole earth, gives warmth rather to souls than to bodies, cherishing virtues, withering vices. Mary is that bright and incomparable star, whom we need to see raised above this vast sea, shining by her merits, and giving us light by her example’.

Some of these words are echoed in the Sequence for our Lady, Laetabundus: ‘As a star its kindred ray, Mary doth her Child display, Like in nature: Still undimmed the star shines on, and the Virgin bears a Son, pure as ever’.

May our Lady, bright and incomparable Star of the Sea, pray for us. May we follow the example of her ‘Fiat’, and may God bless you this day.