Stories in folklore and literature often tell us about treacherous voyages that were saved solely through the intercession of Our Lady, which is why she goes by the name “Star of the Sea.” In fact, a very ancient black Madonna statue in France,  Our Lady of Rocamadeur, perched high on a cliff above the ocean, remains a testimony to her perceived power. Far from beautiful, she looks like a wizened but fierce ancient bird with a crown on her head and the Christ child on her lap. Above her, suspended from the ceiling of the shrine, hang many models of ships, placed there by grateful sailors. Hundreds of notes that simply say “merci,” left there by pilgrims and survivors of the many storms of life, surround her like a halo of hope. Today, pilgrims still return to the shrine to ask Mary, the “Star of the Sea,” to intercede as they make their way on the journey into the arms of Christ, the final destination home.