“Stella” means star in Latin. This prayer likens the Blessed Mother to a bright star that sheds light in the ocean of darkness, the way her graces brings forth peace in our troubled lives.
This poem is also included in the 33-day method of prayer and meditation suggested by St. Louise de Montfort. The method is called “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary”. But even if you’re not a practitioner of this method, the faithful may also say this at the beginning any deep prayer to give honor to the Blessed Mother and ask for guidance.
Ave Maris Stella Hail, bright start of ocean, God's own Mother blest, Ever sinless Virgin, Gate of heavenly rest. Taking that sweet Ave Which from Gabriel came, Peace confirm within us, Changing Eva's name. Break the captives' fetters, Light on blindness pour, All our ills expelling, Every bliss implore. Show yourself a Mother; May the Word Divine, Born for us your infant, Hear our prayers through thine. Virgin all excelling, Mildest of the mild, Freed from guilt, preserve us, Pure and undefiled. Keep our life all spotless, Make our way secure, Till we find in Jesus, Joy forevermore. Through the highest Heaven To the Almighty Three, Father, Son and Spirit, One same glory be. Amen.