Ave Maris Stella

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Ave Maris Stella (Latin, "Hail Star of the Sea") is a plainsong Vespers hymn to Mary. It is of uncertain origin and can be dated back at least as far as the eighth century. It was especially popular in the Middle Ages and has been used by many composers as the basis of other compositions. The creation of the original hymn has been attributed to several people, including Saint Venantius Fortunatus and Hermannus Contractus. The melody is found in the Irish plainsong "Gabhaim Molta Bríde", a piece in praise of St. Bridget. The popular modern hymn Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star, is loosely based on this plainsong original.

Acadian Anthem

Ave Maris Stella is the anthem of the Acadians. The original Acadians were highly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, and had and still have a high degree of devotion to the Virgin Mary. As such, modern Acadia's symbols reflect its people's traditional beliefs. This is particularly evident in the anthem which instead of being written in French is written in Latin.

It was adopted as the anthem of the Acadian people at the Second Acadian National Convention, held in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island in 1884. To this day, it remains a source of Acadian patriotism.

The hymn was sung in its original version until French lyrics were finally composed in 1994. The French lyrics are attributed to Jacinthe Laforest, from Mont-Carmel, Prince Edward Island, who submitted her lyrics during a contest held throughout the Maritimes by the Société nationale de l'Acadie in search of French lyrics. Out of respect for the original hymn, the first verse in the Acadian national anthem remains in Latin.

These are the lyrics, in French. The first verse is in Latin, and is repeated at the end of the hymn.

Ave Maris Stella
Dei Mater Alma
Atque Semper Virgo
Felix Coeli Porta
Felix Coeli Porta

Acadie ma patrie
À ton nom je me lie
Ma vie, ma foi sont à toi
Tu me protégeras
Tu me protégeras

Acadie ma patrie
Ma terre et mon défi
De près, de loin tu me tiens
Mon cœur est acadien
Mon cœur est acadien

Acadie ma patrie
Ton histoire je la vis
La fierté je te la dois
En l'Avenir je crois
En l'Avenir je crois

Ave Maris Stella
Dei Mater Alma
Atque Semper Virgo
Felix Coeli Porta
Felix Coeli Porta

The Anthem in English

Called: Star of the Sea, we hail Thee
This is an English translation of the Acadian National Anthem. The first verse and last verse are still in Latin:

Ave Maris Stella
Dei Mater Alma
Atque Semper Virgo
Felix Coeli Porta
Felix Coeli Porta

Acadia my homeland
To your name I draw myself
My life, my faith belong to you
You will protect me
You will protect me

Acadia my homeland
My land and my challenge
From near, from far you hold onto me
My heart is Acadian
My heart is Acadian

Acadia my homeland
I live your history
I owe you my pride
I believe in your future
I believe in your future

Ave Maris Stella
Dei Mater Alma
Atque Semper Virgo
Felix Coeli Porta
Felix Coeli Porta

Versions of the Anthem Online

  • Vocal
  • Instrumental
  • Performance on Acadian Day
    It should be noted that this final video is substantially longer than the anthem and includes negative interactions with protesters of the Acadian Day celebrations from the Anglo Society.