Seafarers Prayers

Seafarer's Memorial Plaque

Seafarer Memorial Plaque at AOS Baltimore

Mariner’s Prayer
Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Mother of God and our Mother, you know all the dangers of soul and body that threaten mariners. Protect your sons and daughters who work and travel on the waters of the world, and protect also their families that await their return. Star of the Sea, Mother of the Church, give light and strength to those chaplains and lay ministers who bring the love of your Divine Son among mariners. Fill their hearts with a supernatural and life-giving zeal for the apostolate. Star of the Sea, light shining in the darkness, be a guide to those who sail amid the storms and dangers of life. Enlighten the hearts of ardent disciples and bring us all to the safety of heaven’s port.
AMEN

Fisherman’s Prayer
Dear God, be good to me; the sea is so wide, and my boat is so small…
AMEN

Star of the Sea, Light Our Way
Star of the Sea so radiant in the glory of Gods Love,
Your crown outshining all the stars of heaven up above,
O, lovely Queen of Peace, gowned in azure’s of the sea,
Help us find the way to Jesus, in your wise serenity.
We ask you Pearl of Grace to grant us vision, courage, will,
So ‘peace on earth’ , that miracle, at last might be fulfilled!
Dear Mother of the Church , blessed beacon of God’s Light,
May you always guide your children on the stormy seas of life.
Make our hearts into safe harbors, where dear Jesus is received
Hear our prayer, O, Spiritual Vessel, Mother of God, Star of the Sea.
Anne Frasca copyright 2000

Ave Maris Stella
Hail bright star 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 thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy 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 for evermore
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three
Father, Son, and Sprit
One same glory be, Amen.

Chaplet Of Our Lady, Star of the Sea
This chaplet has an Our Lady Star of the Sea medal on the end, but a small shell could be substituted, if one wanted to make a knotted cord chaplet. Here is the prayer to say on the medal:

Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to help me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.

This is followed by three beads leading to a circle of twelve beads. On each of the first three beads, say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and One Glory Be. On each of the twelve beads of the circle, pray the following:
Our Lady, Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Sweet mother I place this cause in your hands.
Cofraternity of Our Lady Star of The Sea, Morgan City, Louisiana

Hail, You Star of Ocean
Hail, you Star of Ocean!
Portal of the sky,
Ever Virgin Mother,
Of the Lord most high.
O! by Gabriel’s Ave,
Uttered long ago,
Eva’s name reversing,
Establish peace below.
Break the captive’s fetters;
Light on blindness pour;
All our ills exelling,
Ev’ry bliss implore.
Show yourself a mother;
Offer him our sighs,
Who for us Incarnate
Did not you despise.
Virgin of all virgins!
To your shelter take us;
Gentlest of the gentle!
Chaste and gentle make us.
Still as on we journey,
Help our weak endeavor,
Till with you and Jesus
We rejoice forever.
Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be.

The Latin version of this prayer, Ave, Maris stella, can be traced to the late eighth/early ninth century. The title, Star of the Sea (or Ocean), is one of the oldest and most widely spread titles for Mary. The prayer is often used to pray for travelors. Mary herself is a sign of hope for a safe arrival to one’s destination

Star of Sea and Ocean
Star of sea and ocean, Gateway to God’s haven,
Mother of our Maker, Hear our prayer, O Maiden.
Welcoming the Ave, Gabriel’s simple greeting,
You have borne a Savior Far beyond all dreaming.
Loose the bonds that hold us Bound in sin’s own blindness
That with eyes now opened God’s own light may guide us.
Show yourself our mother; He will hear your pleading
Whom your womb has sheltered
And whose hand brings healing.
Gentlest of all virgins, That our love be faithful
Keep us from all evil, Gentle, strong, and grateful.
Guard us through life’s dangers, Never turn and leave us
May our hope find harbor In the calm of Jesus.
Sing to God our Father Through the Son who saves us,
Joyful in the Spirit, Everlasting praises.

Hail, O Star of Ocean
Hail, O star of ocean, Gate to joy supernal,
Ever-virgin Mother Of the Lord eternal!
Taking that great Ave Once by Gabriel spoken,
Eva’s name reversing, Be of peace our token.
Break the sinners’ fetters, Light to blind restoring,
Every ill dispelling, Every boon imploring.
Show thyself a mother In thy supplication;
He will hear, Who chose thee At His Incarnation.
Maiden all excelling, Ever meek and holy,
Freed from sin preserve us; Make us pure and lowly.
Keep our life all spotless, All our ways defending,
Till we gaze on Jesus With a Joy unending.
Praise we God the Father, With Christ’s worship blending
And the Holy Spirit, In one praise unending.

Song in Late Summer
Soft and blue are thy robes, my Mother,
Azure and clear as an angel’s eyes -
Let me hide in them, oh, my Mother -
Radiant Queen of the summer skies!
Softly piled on the far horizon
Smoky white clouds drifting here and there;
These the border on your blue mantle -
Mother most holy . . . Virgin most fair!
Deep and blue and wide is the ocean -
Deep as the call of its peace to me;
Jeweled and shining . . . Thy veil, my Mother!
Thy silvered veil, oh Star of the sea!
Edith M. Stoney Press, 1946.
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God’s Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist

The Heart’s Prayer
As down in the sunless retreats of the ocean
Sweet flowers are springing no mortal can see,
So deep in my soul the still prayer of devotion,
Unheard by the world, rises silent to Thee.
As still to the star of its worship, though clouded,
The needle points faithfully o’er the dim sea,
So dark when I roam in this wintry world shrouded,
The hope of my spirit turns trembling to Thee.

A Prayer to St. Brendan, Patron of Mariners
Dear Saint, to mention your name is to recall much travelling. It was in relation to voyages that you emerged as a popular Saint. The Irish became great travelers thus spreading their faith everywhere. Protect not only mariners but also all those who go down to the sea in ships. Amen.

Prayers to St. Martin of Tours, Patron of Soldiers
Dear well-beloved Saint, you were first a soldier like your father. Converted to the Church, you became a soldier of Christ, a priest and then a Bishop of Tours. Lover of the poor, and model for pagans and Christians alike,protect our soldiers at all times. Make them strong, just, and charitable, always aiming at establishing peace on earth.
LORD of earth, and air, and sea,
Supreme in power and grace,
Under thy protection, we
Our souls and bodies place.
Bold an unknown land to try,
We launch into the foaming deep;
Rocks, and storms, and deaths defy,
With Jesus in the ship.
Who the calm can understand
In a believer’s breast?
In the hollow of his hand
Our souls securely rest:
Winds may rise, and seas may roar,
We on his love our spirits stay;
Him with quiet joy adore,
Whom winds and seas obey.

A Prayer Upon Boarding A Ship
On going on Shipboard.
LORD, whom winds and seas obey,
Guide us through the watery way;
In the hollow of thy hand
Hide, and bring us safe to land.
Jesus, let our faithful mind
Rest, on thee alone reclined;
Every anxious thought repress,
Keep our souls in perfect peace.
Keep the souls whom now we leave,
Bid them to each other cleave;
Bid them walk on life’s rough sea;
Bid them come by faith to thee.
Save, till all these tempests end,
All who on thy love depend;
Waft our happy spirits o’er;
Land us on the heavenly shore.

Scripture with references to seafarers

  • Psalm 93
  • Psalm 107: 23-31
  • Acts 27: 33-44

For seafarers
Heavenly Father: we pray to you for those on the perilous ocean that you will embrace them with your mighty protection and grant them success in all their rightful undertakings. Grant them in all hours of need to see that they have a God who remembers them, and grant them grace in the hour of danger to commit their souls into your hands. 0 Lord Jesus Christ, who can rebuke the storm and bring it to silence, and lay the roaring waves to rest, show them who call to you out of the deep that you hear their prayer and will save them. And finally bring us all to the only safe port. Amen. (Sweden)

Frail is our vessel, and the ocean is wide; but as in your mercy you have set our course, so steer the vessel of our life towards the everlasting shore of peace, and bring us at length to the quiet haven of our heart’s desire, where you, 0 God, are blessed, and live and reign for ever and ever. Amen. (St Augustine)

A prayer of awe
You, 0 eternal Trinity, are a deep sea into which, the more I enter, the more I find. And the more I find, the more I seek. 0 abyss, 0 eternal Godhead, 0 sea profound, what more could you give me than yourself? Amen. (Saint Catherine of Siena)