Pope John Paul II
From the Apostolic Letter
“The Work of the Maritime Apostolate”
January 31, 1997
“Stella Maris” (“Star of the Sea”) has long been the favorite title by which people of the sea have called on her in whose protection they have always trusted: the Blessed Virgin Mary, Her son, Jesus Christ, accompanied his disciples in their vessels, helped them in their work and calmed the storms. And so the Church accompanies seafarers, caring for the special spiritual needs of those who for various reasons live and work in the maritime world.
In order to meet the requirements of special pastoral assistance for people involved in commercial shipping and in fishing – as well as their families, port personnel and all who travel by sea – we establish … The Work of the Maritime Apostolate.
“Help me, O Lord, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.”
St. Faustina Kowalaska
“AN EARLY SAINT & A MODERN POPE AGREE”
“Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said: ‘This is my body’ is the same one who said: ‘You saw me hungry and you gave me no food,’ and ‘Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me’… What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger. Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.”
St. John Chrysostom, “On the Gospel of Matthew” referenced in Pope John Paul’s encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistica” 17 April 2003