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Coleen Perilloux Landry | all galleries >> Ursuline Academy and Convent in New Orleans Before and After Hurricane Katrina > Sweetheart -Came to New Orleans from France on a Sailing Vessel and Rode Out on a Pirogue
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Sweetheart -Came to New Orleans from France on a Sailing Vessel and Rode Out on a Pirogue
14 January 2006 Coleen Perilloux Landry

Sweetheart -Came to New Orleans from France on a Sailing Vessel and Rode Out on a Pirogue

Ursuline Chapel on State Street

Encased in glass Sweetheart holds a special place in the nuns' chapel at Ursuline.
She was brought to New Orleans in the 1780's by an Ursuline nun who found the statue in the attic of her Convent in France. The young nun had promised that if she were permitted to come to New Orleans to teach and work in the military hospital that she would bring the statue with her.
During the great fire in the Vieux Carre in 1812 the statue was put in a window of the Ursuline Convent facing the fire on Chartres. The wind changed course and the Convent was saved, one of the few remaining of its era.
When the nuns were evacuated from flooded New Orleans 8 days after Katrina, Prioress Sister Carolyn Marie Brockland held Sweetheart in a box in her lap as she rode the flood waters in a pirogue. She is now back in her place at Ursuline on State Street.
Through the years people have prayed before this statue and asked for blessings. When students would tell one of the nuns they had their prayers answered she would say, "Oh, what a sweetheart" and that is how she got the nickname and is known by Sweetheart at Ursuline.
The War medals are from someone who prayed to bring him home safely as a pilot in World War II. When he arrived in New Orleans he put his medals at the foot of the statue where they have remained ever since.

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David Royall15-Feb-2006 14:17
My fingers are faster than my brain... I meant to write 1780's...
David Royall15-Feb-2006 00:19
I too, wondered about the wings and the ribbons.
Much history here, 1870's to today.
I am sure Sweetheart was involved with several other 'minor' miracles is that time.
laine8214-Feb-2006 21:50
One of the more pleasant outcomes of Katrina !
Al Chesworth14-Feb-2006 20:19
Very nice story Coleen.
That is quite a nice piece of art.
Is it ceramic or plaster ??
petesie14-Feb-2006 18:05
As always, the wonderful story to go with the photo. I can just picture the nun with the statue in her lap, not knowing what she would find on her return. I was wondering about the significance of the wings and ribbon.