This article accompanies the fable
Dreaming the Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary assumed many of the attributes once assigned to Aphrodite and the ancient pagan goddesses - not the nudity or the sexuality of course, but the idea of being borne in the sea foam. Around the year 400 St. Jerome wrote that Mary was "stilla maris," a drop of the sea, a human woman in the vastness of God’s creation. Somewhere along the way the term was miscopied as “stella maris,” meaning “Star of the Sea” which sounded a whole lot better. Certainly, by the 9th century, this was the accepted meaning and the Virgin Mary became identified as the protector of those traveling on the sea and many coastal churches.
The image below is from a procession in Barcelona, Spain, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, known locally as Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
Also see Botticelli's The Birth of Venus and Istanbul's logo below.