This is my kind of story! June 16, 2011Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Our Lady, religious, Society.
Because it involves the Church, nuns, prayer, history, war, and miracles! I love those kinds of stories!
American Catholic presents a little known aspect of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, where a severely overmatched force of militia, criminals, pirates, and a few professional soldiers under Andrew Jackson’s command sharply defeated a far superior British force. How could such a thing occur? How could a bunch of untrained irregulars beat the best professional army in the world, which outnumbered them almost 3 to 1? Our Lady, and nuns!
That a force of around 4,000, most of them relatively untrained militia, could hand a British army of 11,000 well-trained veteran regulars such a defeat has long been thought to be a military miracle. Perhaps the term “miracle” is the correct one to use. The night before the battle, at the Ursuline Chapel in the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans, the nuns, joined by many of the faithful in New Orleans, prayed throughout the night for an American victory.
On the morning of January 8, 1815, Mass was said at the altar on which a statue of Our Lady of Succor had been placed. The Prioress of the Convent, Mother Marie Olivier de Vezin made a vow to have an annual Mass of Thanksgiving said if victory was granted to the Americans. At the moment of communion, a courier ran into the chapel announcing the American victory. After the battle Old Hickory came to the convent to thank the nuns for their prayers. “By the blessing of heaven, directing the valor of the troops under my command, one of the most brilliant victories in the annals of war was obtained.” In after years, whenever Jackson visited New Orleans, he always made a point of also visiting the Ursuline Covent. The Mass of Thanksgiving has been faithfully observed each year since 1815 by the Ursulines.
There is a good deal more at American Catholic – go check it out. The video below is pretty good – forgive the irreverence at the beginning.