A Medieval Prayer for Peace

Going through a volume of medieval music, I found this hymn, Stella Celi, written by the English composer Cooke. It’s a prayer for peace to the Virgin Mary. It asks her to bring this about by combatting the malign astrological forces that are causing wars on Earth.

‘Star of heaven who suckled the Lord and rooted out the plague of death that first parent of mankind planted, may the same star now deign to curb the constellations whose wars are killing people by the sore of dreadful death.’

It’s a medieval prayer, written in the fourteenth century at the height of the wars that then raged, that nevertheless speaks to us across the gulf of centuries. Our modern world is also torn by war and violence. Now I don’t believe in or wish to promote astrology. Nevertheless the Bible reminds us that we also strive against the invisible powers of the fallen angels.In that respect its message is both ageless and particularly contemporary. So, let us pray that our Lady and all the saints will join with us in asking her Son, to bring an end to these present wars and guide the nations in the ways of justice and peace.

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