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|English to Latin translations [Non-PRO]|
|English term or phrase: star|
|A Morning Star|
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Q: What is the origin and meaning of the expression stella matutina or morning star?
A: Stella matutina or morning star is first used in the Padua version of the Litanies of Loreto (14th century; Capitolare B63). In a Parisian manuscript of the 12th century we find the expressions "Stella marina" and "lux matutina" ("star of the sea" and "light of the morning") (Paris, Nat. lat. 5267). It is believed that the author of the Padua Litanies combined these two titles into one to become "stella matutina."
The morning star is a sign of the coming day, the announcement of the rising sun; it is a promise of light. It announces the coming "sun of justice" (Mal 4,3), the "daybreak from on high visiting us" (Lk 1,78). Mary is morning star not for and through herself but she is only the reflection of the creator and redeemer. She exalts his glory. When she emerges from darkness we know that the day is near (Newman).
The meaning of Morning Star is related to that of Star of the Sea (see the question: Star of the Sea). According to S. Bernard Mary may be compared to a star. A star radiates light without losing its brightness; Mary thus did not lose her virginity giving birth to Christ. She is the star which goes out from Jacob and whose light illumines the world. This star kindles the fire of the spirit, hastens the growth of virtues and burns out vices. Mary, the star, has a role as spiritual model and ideal (De laudibus Virg. Matris 2.17; PL 183, 70f).
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