Ave Maris Stella
First verse of an unrhymed, accentual hymn for Vespers in the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Ave Maris Stella (Hail, thou Star of Ocean), the first verse of an unrhymed, accentual hymn, of seven strophes of four lines each, assigned in the Roman Breviary to Vespers in the Common Office, the Office for Saturdays, and the Little Office (as well as for Feasts) of the Blessed Virgin. It has been ascribed wrongly to St. Bernard, but antedates him, being found in a St. Gall manuscript of the ninth century; and, also, without sufficient authority, to St. Venantius Fortunatus (d. 609). Its very frequent occurrence in the Divine Office made it most popular in the Middle Ages, many other hymns being founded upon it.