Stella Maris - Star of the Sea

Maríukirkja in Breiðholt was opened on the 25 March 1985 and was consecrated on 24th May 2001.

After the Mass of consecration, the bishop, Jóhannes Gijsen, presented the Parish with a statue of its patroness: Mary, Star of the Sea, Stella Maris.

Star of the Sea

It was a bust which showed the face of the Mother of God as she has been venerated for many centuries in the basilica of Our Lady in Maastricht, Holland, and with the child Jesus in her arms.

This bust was a gift from His Excellency Alfons Castermans, former auxiliary bishop of Roermond   to which the diocese of Maastricht belongs and title holder of the old Icelandic diocese of Skálholt.  Because of his connection with Iceland he wished with this gift, to show his connection with Iceland.

This statue is now to be seen at the entrance of Maríukirkja. Our Lady greets visitors to her church and guides them to her Son who is waiting for them.  In addition she protects the Parish, which is dedicated to her.

History of the Statue in Maastricht

The miracle-working statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, a carved wooden figure of 135 cm high, is a work of intense beauty.  The statue is held in great reverence, especially in the Netherlands.

Veneration of Mary the Mother of Jesus, dates from the first days of Christianity.  In Maastricht in the Netherlands, the first chapel on that side of the Alps was dedicated to Her.  Later this chapel became an important place of pilgrimage.  It was situated on the banks of the river.  An old statue had been honoured there and had been replaced later on.  The Guild of Tanners  donated the new statue and soon it was honoured as much as the old one, especially by seamen.  The new statue was made about the year 1420-1430 in Bohemia.  The name 'Star of the Sea' was added around the year 1700, after lives were miraculously saved during a shipwreck.  Formerly the statue was known as Our Lady of Maastricht.

Today, the Star of the Sea of Maastricht is well known in many countries.  Tens of thousands of Her pictures, with the heavenly smile, hang on the walls of houses, convents, schools, barracks, ships and hospitals.  Her chapel in Maastricht is never without people praying.

The Fraternity of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, an association which has existed for many centuries, attends to the statue and to its veneration.  August 15 is the main feast for the Star of the Sea in the city of Maastricht and the surroundings.
The former Mayor of Maastricht, Baron Michiels van Kessenich, stated: "Those who know the sorrow of a family without a mother, know also how rich we are to have Mother Mary in our church."

Prayer to Our Lady Star of the Sea

O, Mary, Star of the Sea,
look upon me as I kneel before your throne of grace,
where so many lovers of your motherly heart
have already received the greatest favours.
Here you obtain consolation for the sad,
help for the poor, health for the sick
and forgiveness for sinners.
O, dearest mother, now I come to you
with the greatest confidence.
The many miracles which have happened
through your intercession, fill me, a poor sinner,
with great hope, that you dear Mother of Mercy,
will also hear my prayer.

I beg and implore you, kindest mother,
sweet Star of the Sea,
do not let me go away from here without being heard.
You can help me, for you are the mightiest after God.
You are willing to help me,
because you are full of love for all your children.

Remember, most merciful mother,
that never was it heard, that anyone who fled
to your protection with confidence
was left unaided by you.
Will I then be the first unhappy person
that will not be heard by you? No, no, good mother!
In this holy place, through your mighty intercession
obtain for me, help in my distress
and consolations in my sufferings.  Amen.