8 January – Our Lady of Prompt Succour –
In 1727, French Ursuline nuns founded a monastery in New Orleans, Louisiana, and organised 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 French 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 honoured at New Orleans under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succour.
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 Succour 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 Succour 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 Succour, 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 Succour 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 Succour whenever a hurricane threatens New Orleans.
St Abo of Tblisi
St Albert of Cashel
St Apollinaris the Apologist
St Athelm of Canterbury
St Atticus of Constantinople
St Carterius of Caesarea
Bl Edward Waterson
St Ergnad of Ulster
St Erhard of Regensburg
St Eugenian of Autun
Bl Eurosia Fabris (1866-1932)
St Garibaldus of Regensburg
St Gudule of Brussels
St Julian of Beauvais
St Lawrence Giustiniani
St Lucian of Beauvais
St Maximian of Beauvais
St Maximus of Pavia
Bl Nathalan of Aberdeen
St Patiens of Metz
St Pega of Peakirk
St Severinus of Noricum
St Theophilus the Martyr
St Wulsin of Sherborne
Martyrs of Greece – 9 saints: A group of Christians honored in Greece as martyrs, but we have no details about their lives or deaths – Euctus, Felix, Januarius, Lucius, Palladius, Piscus, Rusticus, Secundus and Timotheus
Martyrs of Terni – 4 saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Executed during the persecutions of emperor Claudius. Martyrs. – Carbonanus, Claudius, Planus and Tibudianus. They were martyred in 270 in Terni, Italy.