Tuesday, January 08, 2008
January 8 is officially the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans (a state holiday in Louisiana, or at least it was when I was growing up). Unofficially, by "vox popoli," it is the feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, patroness of New Orleans. The threat to the city back then was from the British, and the last battle of the war took place right outside of New Orleans (unknown to the soldiers and their leaders, a peace accord had already been signed). The people prayed through the night with the Ursuline sisters in front of their precious statue of Mary: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us!" And the rag-tag American army routed the redcoats at Chalmette. New Orleans was spared. At least, it was spared that time.
When Hurricane Katrina did not spare New Orleans, the precious statue of Mary (the original one) left in the boats with the sisters. She is back home, and so are they. And we still pray, "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us!"
Posted by Sr Anne Flanagan at 10:16 AM