A tsunami of prayer is expected for the centenary of the Apostleship of the Sea (1920-2020), writes Father Bruno Ciceri, International Director of the Apostleship of the Sea, in L’Osservatore Romano, dated July 18, 2019.
This anniversary will be the occasion to “rediscover the roots” of the Movement dedicated to people of the sea, sailors and fishermen and their families. A series of initiatives will be organized, among which are ecumenical prayer meetings, pilgrimages, seminars and symposiums. It will also include paying tribute to missionaries “who ventured in the ports of the whole world, seen as violent places of perdition, to seek to save souls,” he explains. The event will culminate with a World Congress at Glasgow, from September 29 to October 4, 2020.
Father Ciceri recalls that the Apostleship was born to assist sailors in promoting “their spiritual, moral and social development.” Two axes are privileged: “practical work and prayer.” The first consist notably in the visit of boats in ports, the distribution of Catholic literature, and the institution of places for Catholic sailors. For their spiritual life, the members are asked to say a daily prayer and they have the obligation to receive Communion at least once a year.
The logo was also launched: the image of an anchor (representing hope), joined to a life jacket (faith) and a heart (charity) on rays of light and the blue color of the sea.
“Stella Maris,” the Apostleship’s name, makes reference to the Virgin Mary, “Star of the Sea,” a devotion that the organizers of the centenary hope to promote yet more. A special prayer has also been prepared for the centenary, with invocations to the “very tender God the Father, Infinite Sea,” to Jesus “Divine Helsman,” to the Spirit” that hovers over the waters,” and to the Virgin “Stella Maris.”
The preparation for the centenary will open on October 4, 2019 with a celebration in all the Stella Maris centers, in which government, financial and ecumenical partners will be involved . . . To remain faithful to the mission to be “the voice of those that don’t have a voice,” the Dicastery suggests that meetings be organized on maritime wellbeing, in order to defend human rights and work rights, and to institute special prizes to acknowledge the commitment of organizations and individuals who have contributed to the growth of Stella Maris.
A special period is planned in August 2020 when the Pope’s universal intention for the month will be dedicated to “all people who work and live of the sea.” Finally, the Apostleship suggests a “centenary project” in the countries or dioceses of the world, as a sign of the Church’s attention to the world of the sea.
Laymen founded the Apostleship of the Sea in Scotland a century ago, in the port of Glasgow (Great Britain). It is present in 300 ports of the world and is placed under the patronage Our Lady of the Sea, “Stella Maris.” Its mission is to help sailors and fishermen materially and spiritually.