Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us! Here's a little history of the Principal Patroness of Louisiana, whose feast day is celebrated on January 8:
The Ursuline Convent in New Orleans was threatened by a great fire on Good Friday in 1788. One of the nuns brought a statue with Our Lady holding the infant Jesus to the window and prayed: “Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost if you do not come to our aid.”
The wind changed, turning the flames away and saving the convent. It is still customary for the people of New Orleans to pray before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor whenever a hurricane or harm threatens the city.
On January 8, 1815, during the Battle of New Orleans, General Andrew Jackson asked the Ursuline Nuns to pray for him and the city, because the American troops were outnumbered.
The statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor was placed in the convent's chapel, and the Ursuline Nuns, along with many others, prayed for a miracle during Mass.
A courier ran into the chapel during communion to inform all those present that the British had been defeated. The battle was over in 30 minutes.
General Jackson went to the convent himself to thank the nuns for their prayers. He stated, “The divine providence of God through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor has shielded us and granted this stupendous miracle.”
Pope Pius IX authorized the public devotion to the Marian title on September 21, 1851, and designated the 8th of January as its feast day of thanksgiving.
On June 13, 1928, in a decree from Rome, the Holy See approved and confirmed the choice of Our Lady of Prompt Succor as patroness of the city of the New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us!