Our Lady of Prompt Succor

[Our Lady of Prompt Succor]
Also known as

  • Notre Dame de Bon Secours
  • Our Lady of Quick Help

Memorial

Profile

In 1727, French Ursuline nuns founded a monastery in New Orleans, Louisiana, and organized their area schools from it. In 1763 Louisiana became a Spanish possession, and Spanish sisters came to assist. In 1800 the territory reverted back to France, and the Spanish sisters fled in the face of French anti-Catholicsm. In 1803, short on teachers, Mother Saint Andre Madier requested reinforcements in the form of more sisters from France. The relative to whom she wrote, Mother Saint Michel, was running a Catholic boarding school for girls. Bishop Fournier, short-handed due to the repressions of the French Revolution, declined to send any sisters. Mother Saint Michel was given permission to appeal to the pope. The pope was a prisoner of Napoleon, and it seemed unlikely he would even receive her letter of petition. Mother Saint Michel prayed,

O most Holy Virgin Mary, if you obtain for me a prompt and favorable answer to this letter, I promise to have you honored at New Orleans under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

and sent her letter on 19 March 1809. Against all odds, she received a response on 29 April 1809. The pope granted her request, and Mother Saint Michel, commissioned a statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor holding the Infant Jesus. Bishop Fournier blessed the statue and Mother‘s work.

Mother Saint Michel and several postulants came to New Orleans on 31 December 1810. They brought the statue with them, and placed it in the monastery chapel. Since then, Our Lady of Prompt Succor has interceded for those who have sought her help.

A great fire threatened the Ursuline monastery in 1812. A lay sister brought the statue to the window and Mother Saint Michel prayed

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost if you do not come to our aid.

The wind changed direction, turned the fire away, and saved the monastery.

Our Lady interceded again at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Many faithful, including wives and daughters of American soldiers, gathered in the Ursuline chapel before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and spent the night before the battle in prayer. They asked Our Lady for victory by Andrew Jackson’s forces over the British, which would save the city from being sacked. Jackson and 200 men from around the South won a remarkable victory over a superior British force in a battle that lasted twenty-five minutes, and saw few American casualties.

It is still customary for the devout of New Orleans to pray before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor whenever a hurricane threatens New Orleans.

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Readings

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, ever Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God, you are most powerful against the enemy of our salvation. The divine promise of a Redeemer was announced right after the sin of our first parents; and you, through your Divine Son, crushed the serpent’s head. Hasten, then, 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. As you once saved our beloved City (New Orleans) from ravaging flames, and our Country from an invading army, have pity on us and obtain for us protection from hurricanes and all other disasters. (Silent pause for individual petitions.) Assist us in the many trials which beset our path through life. Watch over the Church and the Pope as they uphold with total fidelity the purity of faith and morals against unremitting opposition. Be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor now and especially at the hour of our death, that we may gain everlasting life through the merits of Jesus Christ Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God world without end. Amen. - prayer from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor

MLA Citation

  • “Our Lady of Prompt Succor“. Saints.SQPN.com. 7 January 2014. Web. 19 April 2014. <>