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Special Event to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the victory of the
United States of America at the Battle of New Orleans,
through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor!

On Thursday, January 8 at 4 pm, Archbishop Gregory Aymond will celebrate the 200th Mass of thanksgiving honoring Our Lady of Prompt Succor at the National Shrine dedicated to her honor on State St. on the campus of the Ursuline Academy.  All are invited to attend.

As New Orleans and the nation celebrate the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, the archbishop, the Ursuline Sisters and the faithful of New Orleans gather to honor a promise made by the Ursulines on January 8, 1815 to hold a Mass annually on that date in thanksgiving for the miraculous victory at the battle.  For as the men went to battle, the women went to pray with the Ursulines at their convent on Chartres St. As Father Dubourg celebrated Mass at dawn, during communion, a messanger came and announced "Victory is Ours"!  Many, including General Andrew Jackson attribute the unlikely, miraculous victory to the power of prayer.

This story is told now at the Old Ursuline Convent Museum through the exhibition titled Praying for a Miracle: the Catholic Church and the Battle of New Orleans.  The exhibit is open thruogh May 2015, but those wishing to experience as part of the Bicentennial celebrations may do so free of charge January 7, 8 and 9. 

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor is located at 2701 State St. in New Orleans.

About Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Other names and titles by which Our Lady of Prompt Succor is known

Also known as
Notre Dame de Bon Secours
Our Lady of Quick Help


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 France 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.

The State of Louisiana
The Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana
The City of New Orleans, Louisiana


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