8-Year-Old Mariela Explains the process of Creating an Eight Pointed, Theotokos or StellA Maris Star
Students not only complete a project but also learn how to verbally communicate what that they have learned as best as they can and that is always entertaining. So often I must hold back the chuckles while recording these very cute snippets. The first part of this series is HERE.
Mosaic project HERE.
In honor of the day, I think it is fitting to post just the first part of her presentation with more to be added at a later date. Happy New Year!
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is celebrated today in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. For many centuries the Circumcision of the Lord was celebrated on this day and it is still celebrated under that title on the calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Christians of Byzantine Rite and of all West Syrian Rite, South Syrian Rites and East Syrian Rites celebrate Mary as Mother of God on December 26th and the Coptic Church does so on January 16th. The Feast of St Basil or the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is celebrated January 1st in Orthodox traditions and some Protestant denominations: In accordance with Jewish tradition, eight days (according to the Semitic and southern European calculation of intervals of days) after his birth, the occasion on which the child was formally given his name.
More Star History
Eight Pointed Star Symbolism
The eight points of each star signify the mystery of the "eighth day". It is the day that "Jesus rose from the dead 'on the first day of the week.' Because it is the 'first day,' the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the 'eighth day' following the sabbath,it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:
'We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.'" CCC 2174
Stars on Theotokos Icons There are three golden stars, one on the forehead and one on each shoulder of the Most Holy Theotokos. These stars are symbols of her virginity. She was a virgin before, during, and after the Nativity of Christ. The three stars are also a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Sometimes the third star is covered by the figure of the Christ Child the second person of the Holy Trinity.
What is the origin of Mary's title: "Star of the Sea"?
Marian star symbolisms generally come in two versions: the six-pointed and the eight-pointed star. The six-pointed which is in fact the star of David (two superimposed triangles pointing in opposite directions, symbol of David's shield according to tradition) is used to highlight Mary's role in salvation as helper in the restitutio perfectionis or reparatrix parentum et totius orbis. It symbolizes the restitution of the original harmony between God and humanity brought about by incarnation and redemption--of which Mary is a 'helper'. The number eight symbolizes salvation and its meaning is derived from Gen 6,18: eight people escaped the deluge finding salvation in the ark (see also 1 Peter 3.20). The eight's day is--according to Augustine--like the first (restitution) with permanent character (perfection).
More generally (independently from the number of radiating points), the star symbolism may be used to articulate one or all of the following characteristics of Mary:
a) Her privileges, in particular, her mission as Mother of the Redeemer, or her holiness (full of grace);
b) Her anticipatory or demonstrative role (forerunner, announcer ...) with regard to Christ ["she is the dawn, Christ the Rising Sun"] and the Trinity;
c) Her role as luminous and enlightening.
The biblical and/or theological foundation of this title (Mary, Star of the Sea) may be based on 1 Kings 18:41-45. This text refers to a little cloud appearing above the sea as a sign of hope, implying that rain will come and free the land from drought. The little cloud (small as a man's hand) seen from Mt. Carmel is believed to be the 'Star of the Sea' and Mary, thus, the sign of hope which announces freedom and renewal. The Carmelites built a church on Mt. Carmel and gave it the title Stella Maris.
The origin of the expression Stella maris is commonly attributed to St. Jerome (d. 420). However, Jerome called Mary stilla maris, meaning a drop of the sea. Perhaps a copyist transcribed this as Stella maris. Other authors recording the same Marian symbol include: Isidore of Seville (d. 636); Alcuin (d. 804); and Rhabanus Maurus (d. 856).
An explicit reference occurs in Paschasius Radbertus (d. 865):
Mary, Star of the Sea, must be followed in faith and morals lest we capsize amidst the storm-tossed waves of the sea. She will illumine us to believe in Christ, born of her for the salvation of the world.
Hincmar of Reims (d. 882) spoke of Mary as 'a star of the sea assumed into the heavens'.
There are also some ancient Marian hymns related to the title: Ave Maris Stella (eigth-ninth century); and Alma Redemptoris Mater (by Hermann of Reichenau, eleventh century).
Very important for this title is the following twelfth-century prayer from St. Bernard of Clairvaux:
If the winds of temptation arise;
If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary;
If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary.
Stella Maris as explained by Rev. Johann Roten, S.M. an internationally recognized scholar and authority on Mary.
Lastly, it is Mary’s prerogative to be the Morning Star, which heralds in the sun. She does not shine for herself, or from herself, but she is the reflection of her and our Redeemer, and she glorifies Him. When she appears in the darkness, we know that He is close at hand. He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Behold He comes quickly, and His reward is with Him, to render to everyone according to his works. “Surely I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Bl. John Henry Newman
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
All content ©LumenChristiArt.com,
Christi Marie (CM) Jentz.
My website template has been recently updated. As a result, NOTES pages might have font and pictorial placement discrepancies.
Original artwork, as opposed to a print of any type, is quite wonderful and by far the most sumptuous and "tactile" of all.
I do accept and appreciate