Our Sweetheart Club, alumnae who've graduated 50 years ago or more, joined us on campus for an Advent prayer service and luncheon. During the prayer service, the middle school choir sang and the Skipperettes of 1968 were inducted into the Club. Following the prayer service, Senior Megan Harold spoke to alumnae about her high school years. We love when our alumnae come back to State Street!
The Sweetheart Club’s name comes from the 12 inch “Sweetheart” statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor housed in the belfry of the Shrine. This small statue was destined for disposal when an Ursuline nun named Sister Felicite discovered her in the convent attic in France in 1785. Pained to see this image of our Lady so carelessly cast aside, Sister Felicite fell to her knees and prayed, "My good Mother, if you will take away PROMPTLY the obstacles that stand in the way of our departure, I will carry you to New Orleans, and I promise to have you honored there by every means in my power." Within no time, her petition was granted and Sweetheart accompanied the sisters to New Orleans.
We have sought Sweetheart’s intercession for our own prayers and she has been known to grant many intentions to all with a quick response. One of the most well-known stories of miracles to which Sweetheart is credited was the great fire of New Orleans in 1788 that swept away hundreds of homes and also threatened the convent. Sister St. Anthony, one of the older nuns, climbed the convent stairs carrying the small statue of Our Lady and set her on the window sill facing the fire, then knelt and prayed with great confidence. At that very instant the wind veered and the flames were blown back and the convent was saved leaving as it stands now as the oldest building in the MississippiValley.
And the appellation “Sweetheart” comes from Mother St. Benoit’s response to Ursuline students, and others, when they told her of Our Lady’s intercession on their behalf when she would reply, “Oh, she’s a Sweetheart.”