Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our Lady of Prompt Succor still relevant today

The archbishop of New Orleans has instructed churches to conclude services with the following prayer.  It is meant to implore Our Lady of Prompt Succor, the patroness of the city and the State of Louisiana, to intervene in what he calls, "The New Battle of New Orleans" against violence, murder, and racism.

The Times-Picayune published the findings of a report the other day that determined New Orleans has a murder rate ten times the national average.  Someone gets murdered just about every day.  If a day passes without a murder, you can be pretty sure two people will be shot the next day.

"Loving and Faithful God, through the years the people of our archdiocese have appreciated the prayers and love of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in times of war, disaster, epidemic, and illness.  We come to you, Father, with Mary our Mother, and ask you to help us in the battle of today against violence, murder and racism.

We implore you to give us your wisdom that we may build a community founded on the values of Jesus, which gives respect to the life and dignity of all people.

Bless parents that they may from their children in faith.  Bless and protect our youth that they may be peacemakers of our time.  Give consolation to those who have lost loved ones through violence.

Hear our prayer and give us the perseverance to be a voice for life and human dignity in our community.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us.

Mother Henriette Delille, pray for us that we may be a holy family."

Who is Heniette Delille?  I was curious myself.  More on that another day.  She was a remarkable free woman of color in New Orleans.

I've never seen Our Lady of Prompt Succor in person.  Her shrine is in the Ursulines Academy uptown on South Claiborne Avenue.  It is always closed when I stop by to test the doors.  Nothing at all like the shrine to Saint Roch, which is always open with artifacts of miracles unguarded.  Note that the link is the first of a three-part post on subsequent days.  The photos are incredible, as is the place.

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