Félix Caeli Porta

Yes, the concert last night by the Atlanta Schola Cantorum was gorgeous. And among other things, it ramped up my interest in the early medieval hymn, Ave Maris Stella. I spent a little bit of time last night and this morning looking at various translations of it, trying to find one that would work as a devotional prayer (one of my Lay Cistercian promises is to cultivate a devotion to Mary, and it seems that praying the Ave Maris Stella would be a worthy means to that end). But I couldn’t find one that I liked… so I did my own translation, reaching as far deep into the recesses of my mind as possible, to dredge up my two years of college Latin to try to put it to good use.

Here’s what I came up with…

Hail, Star of the Sea, ever nurturing, Virgin Mother of God, felicitous gate of heaven.

By the “Ave” with which Gabriel hailed you, you have established us in peace, reversing the name of “Eva.”

Loosen the chains of the guilty, send light to the blind, dispel our evil, plead for all good things.

Reveal yourself as Mother, that through you may your son, born for our sake, receive our prayers.

O singular Virgin, meek above all others, liberate us from our sin; make us meek and chaste.

Bestow a pure life, prepare a safe way, that, in seeing Jesus, we may rejoice forever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • judith collier

    Who can not love the Virgin! I liked your prayer very much. She will like it too, I am sure. Men are only as good as how far up the ladder they place women. A devotion to the Mother of God will bring you success in your prayer life. Then I am going to send you prayer requests, meanwhile, I will pray for you. Judy

  • http://thebyzantineanglocatholic.blogspot.com/ Joe Rawls

    The “Ave=Eva reversed” reminded me of hearing this same hymn during my pre-Vatican 2 childhood, probably during the big May procession. Thanks for a good translation and best wishes as you undertake your Cistercian commitment.