"Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world,
for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God;
he freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness;
he destroyed death and gave us eternal life."
- Lauds of the Nativity Benedictus Antiphon
On this fifth day during the Octave of Our Mother's birth, we celebrate the feast of her most wonderful name: Maria. It is this name which bears such sweetness that we call upon in times of trouble, anguish, temptation, and supplication - but also in joy and thanksgiving. Today let us unceasingly offer her name as a prayer to heaven - like sweet roses rising up from earth to find their place within the crown upon Our Lady's head ... "Mary, sweet Mary, my dearest Mother Mary ... " Let us too offer her the prayer of her Holy Name, the Ave Maris Stella.
"At length, O Mary, our earth possesses thee! Thy birth reveals to it the secret of its destiny, the secret of that love which called it from nothingness, that it might become the palace of the God who dwelt above the heavens. But what a mystery, that poor, weak humanity, inferior to the angels by nature, should be chosen to give to the angels their King and their Queen! ....
Ave Maris Stella, Dei Mater Alma
“And the Virgin’s name was Mary. Let us speak a little about this name, which signifies Star of the sea, and which so well befits the Virgin Mother. Rightly is she likened to a star: for as a star emits its ray without being spoilt, so the Virgin brought forth her Son without receiving any injury; the ray takes nought from the brightness of the star, nor the Son from his Mother’s integrity. This is the noble star risen out of Jacob, whose ray illumines the whole world, whose splendor 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, I say, is that bright and incomparable star, whom we need to see raised above this vast sea, and shining by her merits, giving us light by her example.
O Mary, we say to thee with thy faithful client, St. Anselm of Canterbury: “By the name of thy beloved Son, grant us ever to keep the memory of thine own sweetest name; may it be the delicious food of our souls; may it be with us in danger; may it be with us in anguish; may it be to us the beginning of all joy!”
- Dom Gueranger on the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary