Acadia is the French speaking area of eastern North America, primarily in the Maritime provinces of Canada. “Ave Maris Stella” dates back to the eigth century as a Catholic hymn to the Virgin Mary and, as such, the lyrics are originally in Latin. Because of the Catholic background of Acadians, the song was chosen at the Acadian national congress of 1884 as the Acadian anthem. According to the minutes of the meeting, once the flag had been introduced to the delegates by Father Richard, he started singing the Ave Maris Stella as if to close the congress. It was then declared that a song was needed, and it was determined that because “Ave, Maris Stella” was chosen by Fr. Richard to sing at that time, that it should be the Acadian anthem. The resolution was submitted in the ongoing session, where the assembly approved it.
At the 1992 meeting of the Société Nationale de l’Acadie, the anthem was revised somewhat, the first and last verses of the original Latin lyrics were kept out of respect for the original hymn, but the second, third and fourth verses were now in French (the language spoken in Acadia), the lyrics being a winning entry of a contest.
Special thanks to: Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music.