News items added on Sunday, August 20, 2006

Stella Maris Icon

The Icon Stella Maris is set in the context of the night and reflects the difficulties of life sensed more deeply at night and perhaps also of the times of the ’dark night of our souls.’

The triangles are symbols of fire which in turn are symbols of the Spirit.

The star is Sirius, the largest and most brilliant star in the heavens. A major star of navigation but also known in mythology as the God Star or the Dog Star that leads. This star was (and is) an object of great worship in many cultures around the world. In the middle east the rising of Sirius in the heavens in June coincided with the annual floods of the Nile upon which the lives of the ancient Egyptians depended.

The visible circulation of the minor stars Sirius A and Sirius B around Sirius itself were also part of this worship culture and form the basis of the Star of David symbol.

The Virgin and Child are positioned in the upward pointing triangle of the Spirit -linking to Sirius the lead star of navigation Mary is herself the Star which illuminates our inner darkness and leads our souls to her divine Son.

The sea has always been the most feared elements of nature because of its enormous power to sustain life or destroy. We are powerless and insignificant in the midst of its rage. Yet in its benign aspect the sea is a source of untold beauty and nourishment for mankind. The sea is therefore a metaphor for life and its perils but also for its wondrous joy and beauty. The world wide ocean also represents all the peoples of the world.

The four fish are a reference to the four Gospels, and ultimately Christ Himself who was know to the early Christians as the Great Fish (Ethos)

The boat in the background is a symbol of the individual soul of the believer on the spiritual path. This boat of life can be navigated safely by turning to Christ as guided by Our Lady star of the Sea, the star of our life.

The boat is also an image of the Church Militant navigating through time, through life and to the promised land.

Our Lady is depicted standing on the moon, again an object of worship in ancient religions. The image also recalls the verse in Revelation Chapter 12. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”