Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Excerpt from a longer article well worth the read.

Mother St. Michel and several postulants with the precious statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, arrived in New Orleans December 31, 1810. The statue was set up in the chapel of the Sisters on Ursuline St. and Mother St. Michel who taught there, lost no time in spreading devotion to Our Lady, which soon became popular.

Two signal favors showed Our Lady’s pleasure at the devotion: in 1812 a great fire broke out near the convent, which was doomed for destruction. An old lay sister placed a small statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on a window ledge facing the approaching flames; at the same time Mother St. Michel fell on her knees and prayed: “Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost if you do not come to our aid.” The wind veered, the fire died down and the convent was saved.

Another great favor was bestowed during the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1814. Never before was the city in hopelessly greater danger as the British fleet arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River. A small American fleet had been left to defend the river, but upon encountering the British Fleet they were quickly “blown to pieces.”

Very Rev. Wm. Doubourg, urged the people to pray to Our Lady. He was not alone. The leader of the meager American forces, General Andrew Jackson, had himself warned the Ursulines and all the citizens of the approaching battle and begged their prayers for victory for his out-numbered army.

The battle lasted 25 minutes; the routed British lost 800 dead or missing from action, while Jackson lost only 7 men with an additional 6 wounded. Jackson declared only the aid of the Almighty could have brought about such results. He went himself to the convent afterwards to thank the Ursulines for their prayers and for their nursing of the American wounded.


Pope Leo XIII, June 21, 1894, issued a decree of privilege to crown the famous statue, which was done Nov. 14, 1894. The two crowns: one for the infant, the other for Mary were made of “exquisite artistry” – gold, silver, precious stone, donated by hundreds of faithful clients of Our Lady. This was the first of such a ceremony conducted in the United States. [Dear friends, you know my high opinion of this good Pope]

Share Your Thoughts