OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR
Brief History of Devotion
On their arrival in New Orleans, December 30,18lO, this precious statue was solemnly installed in the Convent
Chapel, and from that time the homage and veneration offered to Mary under the title of "OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR" has been constantly growing in our city and state and spreading far and wide allover the United States.
It does not come within the sphere of this brief sketch to relate all the favors, both spiritual and temporal, wrought through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor during the past one hundred years and more. The Chronicles of the Ursuline Convent sum up these graces by saying: "Under this title,the Most Blessed Virgin has so often manifested her power and goodness, that the Religious have unbounded confidence in her."
Two historical facts are especially worthy of notice here: the fire in 1812, and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
Devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor was only beginning to be known in New Orleans when, in 1812, a terrible fire ravaged the city. The wind rapidly drove the flames toward the convent, and the danger being imminent an order was given to leave the convent. Just then, Sr. Anthony placed a small statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on a window sill facing the fire, and Mother St. Michel prayed aloud: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost, unless you hasten to our help." Instantaneously, the wind changed, the convent and environs were out of danger, and the flames extinguished. Witnesses of this inexplicable incident cried out unanimously: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor has saved us!"
General Andrew Jackson's glorious victory over the British in the battle of New Orleans, fought on the plains of Chalmette, January 8, 1815, is another signal favor rightly attributed to the all-powerful intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Before the combat, in order to obtain God's blessing upon the American forces, the weeping, terror-stricken wives, mothers, children, and sisters of Jackson's valiant little band spent the night of January 7th in prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the Ursuline Chapel. On the morning of January 8th, Very Rev. William Dubourg, Vicar General and, later, Bishop of New Orleans, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the main altar, above which the statue had been placed, and the Ursulines, through their Prioress, Mother Ste. Marie Olivier de Vezin, made the vow to have a Mass of Thanksgiving sung annually should the Americans be victorious. At the moment of Communion, a courier rushed into the chapel, announcing the glad tidings of the enemy's defeat. After Mass Father Dubourg intoned the Te Deum, which was sung enthusiastically and with heartfelt gratitude. No one could reasonably doubt the miraculous intervention of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Jackson himself did not hesitate to admit of a Divine interposition in his favor, and came in person to the convent, accompanied by his staff, to thank the nuns for their prayers on his behalf. The vow made by the
Ursulines has been faithfully kept throughout these long years.
Rome has officially approved "DEVOTION TO OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR." Most precious documents have, at different times, emanated from the Holy See, placing the Seal of Holy Church on this devotion andn conferring special privileges upon it. On September 27, 1851, His Holiness, Pius IX, graciously authorized the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and the singing of the yearly Mass of Thanksgiving on January the 8th........
At the request of Their Excellencies Most Reverend John William Shaw, Archbishop of New Orleans; Most Reverend Cornelius Van de Ven, Bishop of Alexandria; and Most Reverend Jules B. Jeanmard, Bishop of Lafayette; in a decree rendered on the thirteenth day of June, 1928, by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the Holy See approved and confirmed the choice of Our Lady of Prompt Succor as the Principal Patroness of the City of New Orleans and of the State of Louisiana, conceding at the same time each and all of the liturgical privileges proper to the principal patrons of places.
Accordingly, each year the Patronal Feast continues to be celebrated with solemnity on eighth day of January, the anniversary date of the battle of New Orleans.........
May devotion to Mary under her hope-inspiring tide of Our Lady of Prompt Succor spread far and wide! To invoke Our Lady under this tide is to tell her that our needs are great and pressing, and that we hope for and expect much from her. Her power equals her love; therefore, our confidence should know no bounds
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us!
Opening Prayer to Our Lady
Oh, Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!
From famine and war, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world your infinite power of merciful Love. May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope.
Taken from L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English 24 May 1982
When we wish to obtain some special favor through the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, the first disposition to bring to prayer is the humble recognition of our unworthiness, for it is the prayer of the contrite and humble heart that rises to the very throne of God.
Our Lady of Prompt
are after Jesus our only hope. O Most Holy Virgin, whose merits have
you high above angel choirs to the very throne of the Eternal and whose
foot crushed the head of the infernal serpent, you are strong against
enemies of our salvation. O Mother of God, you are our Mediatrix most
and loving. Hasten, then, to our help, and as you did once save your
City from ravaging flames and our Country from an alien foe, do now
pity on our misery, and obtain for us the graces we beg of you. Deliver
us from the wiles of Satan, assist us in the many trials which beset
path in this valley of tears, and be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt
now and especially at the hour of our death. Amen.
Filial resignation to God's Holy Will is the second disposition required for the obtaining of special graces. This disposition is especially necessary when we ask for temporal favors, for we cannot be certain whether they are conducive to our salvation or not.
Our Lady of
O Virgin most pure and Mother of the Word Incarnate, you are the
of all graces and the refuge of poor sinners. With lively faith and
confidence we have recourse to your maternal love and we beg you to
from your Divine Son the favors we now implore (here name the special
desired). With filial trust we place our hearts under your motherly
beseeching you to obtain for us the all-important grace of perfect
to God's Will, and, O Mary, show yourself to be OUR LADY OF PROMPT
especially at the hour of our death. Amen.
A profound respect for the exalted dignity and sublime prerogatives of Mary is an excellent means to draw down upon us Heaven's choicest blessings.
Our Lady of
O Mary Immaculate, you are the model of all virtues, the path by which
we go to Jesus, the mysterious channel through which divine favors are
imparted to us. You have such power over the Heart of Jesus, hasten to
our assistance and obtain our earnest request (here name the favor
In you, O Mary, we put our trust, let it not be said that our hopes
been frustrated. O Mother most chaste, be our strength against
our help in danger, our consolation in sorrow, but especially be OUR
OF PROMPT SUCCOR at the hour of our death. Amen.
A filial eagerness in striving to fathom the treasures of holiness contained in the heart of Mary, the most loving and lovable of mothers, is another means of obtaining Our Lady's special protection.
Our Lady of Prompt
temple of the Holy Spirit and Queen of Heaven and earth, behold us
at your feet to offer you the filial homage of our hearts, to thank you
for the innumerable favors you have obtained for us, and to implore,
your all-powerful intercession, the graces we need, especially (here
the favor desired). O Mary, be truly to us "Mary," that is, our shield
against the darts of temptation, our solace in the midst of trials and
afflictions, our firm hope, sweet consolation, and PROMPT SUCCOR at the
hour of our death. Amen.
One of the surest means to acquire a special right to the protection of Mary is to keep ourselves in the state of grace and endeavor to please her by imitating her virtues.
Our Lady of Prompt
most powerful and Mirror of Justice, who offered yourself totally to
for the perfect accomplishment of His Holy Will, make us generous in
We have recourse to you to obtain the graces we need, especially (here
name the favor desired). O Mary, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, heavenly
of souls devoted to your Divine Son, deign to bless us each day of our
mortal pilgrimage, cast upon us your eyes of mercy, and after our
show unto us Jesus, your Son and our Brother. Amen.
A tender love for Mary is another efficacious means of obtaining her favors. Since love can be requited only by love, what should not be our sentiments of filial affection for so generous and loving a Mother?
O Mary, Our
Lady of Prompt
Succor, bright Star of the Sea shining upon life's stormy ocean, we
your speedy help especially to obtain (here specify the desired
Shining Star of our tempest-tossed souls, lovingly guide us among
heaving billows and treacherous shoals, and lead us safely into
peaceful harbor. O sweetest of mothers, we seek your PROMPT SUCCOR now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Mary's love for us is tender and generous. Our love for her should be characterized by deep gratitude, filial confidence, and ardent zeal. We should endeavor, by good example and the spirit of sacrifice, to propagate devotion to her under her sweet title of PROMPT SUCCOR.
O Mary, Our
Lady of Prompt
Succor, whose protection is so powerful and whose help is so prompt and
efficacious, we come to lay at your feet all our cares and sorrows, to
place into your hands all our hopes, to entrust to you all our interest
both spiritual and temporal. Deign, O Most Holy Virgin, to assist us
obtain the graces we now ask, especially (here mention the favor
O Mother of PROMPT SUCCOR, close not
Confidence is an excellent and necessary means for obtaining Mary's protection. Our Lady of Prompt Succor will bestow favors upon us in proportion to our filial trust in her all-powerful intercession.
Our Lady of
sanctuary of every virtue, who was chosen among all women to be the
of our Redeemer, be our advocate and protectress. To you do we raise
hearts and hands imploring your powerful intercession to obtain the
we ask, especially (here mention the favor desired). Assist us by your
mediation, O Mary, that your Divine Son may shower His blessings upon
now and at the moment of our death. Amen.
Mary became our Mother on Calvary's crest. We are the children of her tears and sorrows. On this last day of our novena, let us take the resolution ever to foster a true and tender devotion to our Immaculate Mother of Prompt Succor, to cast all our cares and anxieties into her maternal heart. Our confidence will not remain unrewarded.
Succor, Queen of the Universe and Sovereign full of kindness, you are
advocate of sinners, a haven of safety to the shipwrecked, the health
the sick and infirm, the consolation of the afflicted, the refuge and
of all on earth. O Mary, grant us, we beseech you, the help of your
to obtain the graces we implore, and in particular (here name the favor
desired). Let your maternal heart be touched by our misery; hasten to
assistance and be to us, now and at the hour of our death, OUR LADY OF
PROMPT SUCCOR. Amen.
Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for
LET US PRAY
O Almighty and
Eternal God! Who
sees us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Your
goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Divine Son, may
us from the evil spirit and protect us against all adversities, that
and with PROMPT SUCCOR, she may deliver us from every evil of soul and
body, and safely guide us to the kingdom of heaven, through the merits
of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
O, Mary, Mother of
amidst the tribulations of the world, watches over us and over the
of your Son, be to us and to the Church truly OUR LADY OF PROMPT
haste to help us in all our necessities, that in this fleeting life you
may be our succor, and obtain for us (here ask the particular favor you
desire). Help us to gain life everlasting through the merits of Jesus,
your Son, our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR
Patroness of State of Louisiana
of Prompt Succor, ever Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God,
you are most powerful against the enemy of our salvation. The divine
promise of a Redeemer was announced right after the sin of our first
parents; and you, through your Divine Son, crushed the serpent’s head.
Hasten, then, to our help and deliver us from the deceits of satan.
Intercede for us with Jesus that we may always accept God’s graces and
be found faithful to Him in our particular states of life. As you once
saved our beloved City from ravaging flames and our Country from an
invading army, have pity on us and obtain for us protection from
hurricanes and all other disasters. (silent pause for individual
petitions). Assist us in the many trials which beset our path through
life. Watch over the Church and the Pope as they uphold with total
fidelity the purity of faith and morals against unremitting opposition.
Be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor now and especially at the hour
of our death, that we may gain everlasting life through the merits of
Jesus Christ Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to
help us. (Three times)
Our Lady of Prompt Succor National Shrine