Martinique, in the eastern Caribbean Sea, became an overseas region and department of France in 1635. Part of the archipelago of the Antilles, Martinique is located in the Caribbean Sea about 280 miles northeast of the coast of South America and about 435 miles southeast of the Dominican Republic.

Fort-de-France, Saint-Pierre Bay: Our Lady of Health, known as Our Lady of Deliverance

Before his arrival in Martinique, the island’s first bishop, Bishop Le Herpeur, had long been the rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Deliverance in Normandy (France). To thank Mary for her intercession when he was in peril at sea, he built the shrine of Our Lady of Deliverance who became the patroness of the diocese, then of all the island. He chose the site of Morne Rouge, very similar to his native Normandy. The statue of the Madonna and Child was crowned on December 8, 1868.

In 1891, a cyclone destroyed the church, but the statue remained intact.

In 1902, the volcano Mount Pelée destroyed the whole town but again spared the statue.

The church was restored in 1913.

Feast day: August 30th.