Praying for a Miracle: The Catholic Church and the Battle of New Orleans
On January 7th in 1815, Andrew Jackson and his relatively small band of soldiers organized their defenses against the large, very well equipped British army which would attack the city of New Orleans before dawn. At the same time, the Ursuline Sisters began an all-night prayer vigil in their chapel on Chartres Street, imploring Our Lady of Prompt Succor to give the victory to Jackson and save the city of New Orleans from British control. During the night, the Superior, Mother Ste. Marie Olivier de Vezin, promised Our Lady that if Jackson and his men won, a Mass of Thanksgiving would be sung every year in memory of her saving help to the city on that day. This is a story about faith, a promise kept and the miracle that occurred on January 8th, 1815.