Philadelphia: Dorrance & Company, 1956. First edition. 12 mo. (7 3/4 inches tall), original pale blue cloth, original dust jacket. Toning to spine and upper edges of bright gilt boards, gentle creasing to spine head of unclipped dust jacket. Very good indeed. Item #947
"THE STAR OF THE SEA—WHO BROUGHT THE LIGHT OF CHRIST TO THE DARKENED WORLD—THE STAR THAT LEADS US TO THE SAFE PORT OF HEAVEN"
First edition recounting an American pilgrimage—during the first "Mary's Year"—to the principal Marian shrines of Europe.
Sponsored by the Redemptorists, the large company of pilgrims departed from New York aboard the R.M.S. Mauretania in August 1954 "under the guidance and protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help." Beginning in Paris, the travelogue describes stops in Spain, Lourdes, Italy (including an audience with Pius XII), Switzerland, Germany, Holland, and England. The book is "Dedicated to MARY / The First Lady of the World" and illustrated with several photographs, including images of the Papal audience at Castel Gandolfo and Our Lady of Knock, and a frontispiece portrait: Madonna del Perpetuo Soccorso (Our Lady of Perpetual Help). The rear flap of the dust jacket describes the Madonna "enshrined above the high altar" in the Redemptorist Church of San Alfonso in Rome: "Note the star on Our Lady's veil. She is the Star of the Sea—who brought the Light of Christ to the darkened world—the star that leads us to the safe port of Heaven. This is the principal message of Madonna del Perpetuo Soccorso." The last quarter of the book is given over to the final stop in Ireland, with a special focus on the Shrine to Our Lady of Knock in County Mayo. "On the eve of the octave day of Our Lady's Assumption, August 21, 1879, it was reported that an apparition of Mary Immaculate, accompanied by St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, was seen at the gable of the parish Church." The pilgrims visit to the Church of Our Lady of Knock was highlighted by Eucharistic adoration: "It had been raining that afternoon, shower after shower, but as we knelt in this peaceful little Church, the sunshine suddenly streamed through the stained glass windows...at the Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Thus ended one of the most precious experiences of our visits to the Marian Shrines of Continental Europe and the British Isles." With a brief Foreword (dated, "Nativity of Our Lady / September 8, 1955") by Archbishop Gannon of Erie, Pennsylvania and a short Preface on traveling by ocean-liner ("Watch Your Language, Landlubber!") by Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M. Approbations.