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Our Lady of Prompt Succor
(Means Quick Help) 
Patroness of the State of Louisiana 

Miraculous image of Jesus appears

in sanctuary of the Shrine!


An image of Jesus' holy face with the crowning of thorns appeared to a young girl after she prayed in the church and asked for a sign!  She soon opened her eyes and saw this image in the sanctuary of the shrine!  Some say it could be the chandelier above the image but when one observes the lighting the shadow of the chandelier is  reflected in the top corner of the church.  Also, if it were a reflection of a chandelier it would go away as the sun moves during the day but that is not the case.


History of Our Lady of Prompt

Succor Statue

Mother St. Michel Gensoul, an Ursuline Sister from France wished to serve in the New Orleans mission but was told by her bishop that she had to get permission from the Pope who was Pope Pius VII at the time.  Mother St. Michel Gensoul promise Our Lady  she would have her honored under the title of Prompt Succor (quick help) if she would receive a prompt and favorable reply from the Pope.  Mother St. Michel received a prompt reply allowing her to go to New Orleans.   So, Mother St. Michel had a large statue carved, painted in gold, and given the special name of Our Lady of prompt Succor. Mother St. Michel arrived with the Our Lady of Prompt Succor statue in New Orleans at the Old Ursuline Convent on December 30, 1810. On January 7-8, 1815 while the Battle of New Orleans was being fought, the Ursuline Sisters and the women of New Orleans prayed during the night to the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.  There were many odds against them but after winning the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson publicly acknowledged that the American victory was won by heavenly intervention. 


A Thanksgiving Mass has been celebrated each year to commemorate this event. 

In 1894, Pope Leo XIII issued a decree granting the "Solemn Coronation of the Miraculous Statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, exposed to public veneration in the chapel of the Ursuline Convent, New Orleans."  For the coronation of the statue,the people of New Orleans donated their jewels for the making of both crowns on the statue, Our Lady  and baby Jesus.  This statue is now positioned  on the altar of the this National  Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.


"Sweetheart Statue"


"A smaller statue of the Blessed Mother, fondly called “Sweetheart,” was brought to New Orleans by one of the Sisters from the monastery of Pont S. Esprit in France. In celebration of 275 years of the Ursulines in New Orleans, the statue has been cleaned and moved from the Ursuline Academy museum to a special place in the Shrine. Scarcely twelve inches high, the little plastered statue was destined for disposal when Sister Felicite found it in her convent attic in France in 1785. Pained to see this image of Our Lady so carelessly cast aside, Sr. Felicite fell to her knees and prayed. “My good Mother, if you will take away promptly the obstacles that stand in the way of our departure, I will carry you to New Orleans, and I promise to have you honored there by every means in my power.” Within a month her petition was granted and “Sweetheart” accompanied Sr. Felicite to the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans.
Though diminuitive in size, “Sweetheart” has been credited with many spectacular miracles. It was through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor that the city of New Orleans was spared when a devastating fire threatened the French Quarter and the Ursuline Convent.
Sister Eugenia O’Laughlin’s account of the devastating fire illustrates the rapid response of Our Lady. “Hastily the Superior, Reverend Mother St. Michel, commanded the nuns and school children to leave the building. As she herself turned to go, she was horrified to see Sister St. Anthony, one of the old nuns, climbing the stairs. Following her, Rev. Mother discovered she was carrying the small statue of Our Lady. As the Superior watched, Sr. St. Anthony hurried to the window on the second floor. She set the statue on the sill facing the fire, then knelt and prayed with great confidence: Oh Lady of Prompt Succor, save us or we are lost. At that very instant the wind veered and the flames were blown back over their path of destruction and soon died out.”
Since then, this small statue has had a place of honor in the Ursuline convents in New Orleans. It now stands in a small prayer room in the Shrine.
During both World War I and World War II, soldiers who were husbands, fathers, brothers and sons of Ursuline alumnae brought their ribbons and medals to “Sweetheart” in thanks for their safe return. This early image of Our Lady of Prompt Succor is a vital part of the rich tradition of the Patroness of our city and our state.

From Ursuline Academy website



Patroness of the State of Louisiana

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, You are after Jesus our only hope.  O Most Holy Virgin, whose merits have raised 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 the enemies of our salvation.  O Mother of God, You are our Mediatrix most kind and loving.  Hasten, then to our help, and as You once saved Your beloved City from ravaging flames and our Country from an alien foe, do now have 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 our path in this valley of tears, and be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor now and especially at the hour of our death.  Amen.

O Mary, mother of God, who amid the tribulations of the world, watches over us and over the Church of Your Son, be to us and to the Church, truly, Our Lady of Prompt Succor; make 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.


NIHIL OBSTAT                                            

PATRICK GILLESPIE                                                     







Our Lady of Prompt Succor National Shrine 

2635 State St

New Orleans, LA 70118

(504) 866-0200

Ursiline Academy