Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Genesis, Chapter 28, Verse 17
He was AFRAID and said, 'How awe-inspiring this place is! This is nothing
less than the abode of God, and this is the gate of heaven!'
This verse is about Jacob, who was the grandson of Abraham and he was on a journey to the ancestral home of Abraham, Haran. During this journey he had a dream while sleeping in the desert that put him in a Holy fear. Almost all fear is destructive but holy fear is the beginning of wisdom and prepares one to do the will of God. A holy fear helps us to have a great respect for life in all its stages from the child that goes in the mother’s womb to the elderly that are approaching their end of life. Holy fear also encompasses a great respect for the earth and all its creatures. The earth in its grandeur reminds us of the awe of our God. Make plans to go out to some awe-inspiring place to experience heavens gates. Holy fear compels us to protect others and nature; realizing that the earth and each life in it are sacred and deserving of protection.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor
The national votive shrine of our lady of prompt succor serves God and all God’s people as the center of devotion to the Mother of Jesus under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor—Our Lady of Quick Help. The Shrine is a place of pilgrimage, worship and prayer. It welcomes all who try to live in faith and love, with a special commitment to those whose hope and trust in Mary lead them to seek her motherly care and consolation.
Since 1727, long before her statue arrived on November 10th,1810 and was enshrined in the Ursuline Convent Chapel in the French Quarter, devotion to Notre Dame de Prompt Secours had spread among the Ursuline Sisters, their students and the women and men of New Orleans. Prayers for deliverance from wars, fire, pestilence, disease, storms, despair and hopelessness were made to Our Lady of Prompt Succor.
In 1815, in gratitude for the miracle of America's victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the Ursulines, along with Bishop Louis Du Bourg, made a promise to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving each year on the feast day of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.
In 1895, the statue, gilded in gold, was crowned by Decree of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII; and in 1928, the Holy See approved and confirmed the naming of Our Lady of Prompt Succor as the Principal Patroness of the City of New Orleans and of the State of Louisiana. Standing in the central niche over the main altar on State Street, she welcomes all who come to honor her, to thank her for intercession, and to pray for her help and protection, not only from global wars and devastating storms, but, also, in overcoming greater enemies…poverty, illness, ignorance, racism and violence.
A woman of Influence
Taking Mary’s virtues to work
“The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect, and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.” (Closing speeches Vatican Council II, 12/8/65).
Mother Mary is a perfect role model for all women, of course, but for women who work in particular. According to St. Louis de Montfort, Mary has principle virtues, which when practiced help to lead us to her Son and create a home and world that celebrates the greatness of the Lord.
· Profound Humility: Are you focused on others more than yourself? Do you recognize the work of the team, or are you taking credit for the work? Do you care who gets the credit? Does this impact the way you treat others?
· Ardent Charity: How can you demonstrate great love at work? This is not the same love as a spousal love, of course. How do you approach your employees? Your supervisors? Your clients? Your customers? Is your approach focused on valuing a relationship more than a material good? Are you able to articulate information and ideas in a mutually respectful way?
· Angelic Sweetness: Is your approach nurturing and relational? Do you avoid calumniation of fellow co-workers and supervisors? Even when difficult, do you respond to others at work by extending grace and mercy?
· Heroic Patience: Do you really listen at work? Are you able to rise above a situation in order to assist others as they learn new tasks? Do you hold your temper or judgment about your supervisor when you disagree with them? Are you willing in your attitude to seek understanding of others, even when it is difficult?
· Divine Wisdom: Recalling your baptism, and especially your confirmation, do you recall and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your work decisions? Do you pray for guidance? Do you seek Biblical and Church tradition answers and solutions? Do you show gratitude to God when you recognize divine wisdom at work?
Mary’s virtues bring us to a very feminine leadership style: one steeped in relationship building, not shying away from truth or faith, but approaching others in grace. When practiced at work, these virtues of Our Lady can lead us to Holiness and a fulfilled leadership at the job.