Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten, to our help
and deliver us from the deceits of Satan.
Intercede for us with Jesus that we may always accept God’s graces
and be found faithful to Him in our particular states of life.
- taken from the prayer to Our Lady of Prompt Succor -
Mother Saint Andre Madier - one of seven Ursalines who did not flee Louisiana after the French regained control - sent a request to her cousin, Mother Saint Michel, in France to send more sisters to the New Orleans convent. As France was under the reign of Napoleon and in the midst of the French Revolution, the Bishop felt unable to to afford the loss of more sisters and told Mother Saint Michel that the decision to send more sisters would have to be approved by the Holy Father alone. However, the Holy Father was a prisoner of Napoleon, and the chance of him receiving her letter, much less give an affirmative answer, was slim.
Our Lady continued to show her powerful and quick intercession to the city of New Orleans, in particularly on two separate occasions. The first instance was on Good Friday 1788, when a ravaging fire threatened the city. Residents joined the sisters in the convent chapel to beg Our Lady's intercession. After placing a small statue in the convent window, within minutes, the wind turned back on itself and the fire burnt out, sparing the convent and the city from destruction.
The second well-known intervention of Our Lady of Prompt Succor concerns the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815, where Our Lady is credited with bringing about a victory for the out-numbered American troops over the British, keeping American control over the major port of the Mississippi River. The victory came the day after one vigil when the Ursuline Superior, promised Our Lady that if Jackson and his men were victorious, a Mass of thanksgiving would be sung every year in memory of her saving help to the city on that day.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor is celebrated in New Orleans on January 8 in memory of the Battle, and nationally on January 15. We pray that she may continue to protect our country from all spiritual and physical, and quickly come to our aid in all that we implore of her.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us!
"Grant, we beseech you, Lord God, that we who have been favored by the prompt succor of the Virgin Mother of your divine Son in war, in disasters, in epidemics and illness, may continue to merit her protection by fidelity to your word and to your law."
- Collect for the Mass of Our Lady of Prompt Succor