That's probably not the reason the devotion is still so strong, though. That would be what happened on January 8, 1815 when the city, only a dozen years after it had become an American territory (one in which the dominant language was still--and would remain for almost another 100 years--French) was caught between two warring forces: its own newly adopted (but poorly equipped) Americans and the British, still fighting the War of 1812 (which, unbeknownst to the combatants, was actually over).
The devout people of New Orleans spent the night of January 7 in vigil before Our Lady's shrine at the Old Ursuline Convent. The Mother Superior went so far as to vow that if the Americans won, a Mass of Thanksgiving would be celebrated every year.
That Mass is being celebrated for the 199th time today by the Archbishop of New Orleans in the "new" shrine (consecrated in 1928).
|Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Hasten to Help Us!|
The statue in its home, the National Shrine of O. L. of Prompt Succor, New Orleans
So celebrate Our Lady's Day (in New Orleans, it's considered a solemnity) today--how about some King Cake?