“Whosoever dies clothed in this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” – words of Our Lady to Saint Simon Stock .Such is the extraordinary promise Our Lady makes to those who wear Her Brown Scapular. And this wonderful promise makes the Scapular the most powerful sacramental Heaven’s mercy has given us. Who could doubt Our Lady’s promise, or be so foolish as not to wear, with profoundest gratitude and reverence, this abbreviated form of the Carmelite Mantle?
This garment of grace — two simple pieces of brown wool worn over the shoulders — is a tangible sign of the Blessed Mother´s love and protection for Her devotees. We should kiss the Scapular devoutly when rising in the morning, and every time we put on a new Scapular to replace one that is worn or damaged. For this gesture of reverence, we receive an indulgence of 500 days, and we are also reminded to ask Our Lady: “Preserve me this day from sin and the occasions of sin.”
Wearing the Scapular, a Form of Consecration Wearing Mary´s Scapular is a way to consecrate ourselves to Her service. Consecration sets apart a person or thing for a sacred purpose. Every Catholic should be consecrated to Mary.
Our Lady of Fatima, on October 13th, 1917, held the Brown Scapular in Her hand, making the three child seers,Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco, understand that She wants all of us to wear the Scapular. In a 1936 letter, written at Pontevedra, Sister Lucy quotes Our Lord as saying that He wants devotion to His Mother´s Immaculate Heart alongside devotion to His own Sacred Heart. So consecration to Mary, as a means of giving Her greater honor and love, is God´s will for us, and in no way detracts from His own glory.
One day through the Rosary and the Scapular I will save the World,” the Blessed Virgin Mary told Saint Dominic.
Our Lady of Fatima during the Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917, held out the Brown Scapular. She wants us all to wear it always and to pray at least five decades of the Most Holy Rosary each day.
Every Pope since the year 1280 A.D. has worn the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
We tell Mary that we venerate Her, love Her and trust Her every moment of the day, by simply wearing the Scapular. Saint Alphonsus says: “The Most Holy Mary is pleased when Her servants wear Her Scapular as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to Her service, and are members of the Family of the Mother of God.”
History of The Brown Scapular
The Scapular devotion dates from the time of the prophet Elias (Third Book of Kings). The people were then adoring Baal (the devil). To bring the people back to God, Elias prayed for a drought, which the people would understand as a sign of Divine displeasure. After it did not rain for three and a half years, Elias went up to Mount Carmel (in Palestine) and asked God to send rain. After praying for a time, he sent his companion to see if rain was coming. His companion went down the mountain side, looked to the sea, then returned to Elias and reported that he saw no rain. So Elias prayed again, then sent his companion down to the sea, and again, there was no rain. He prayed six times. Each time, there was no rain. Then Elias prayed a seventh time. This time when the man went down the mountain, he saw a little cloud coming out of the sea in the shape of a foot. And this cloud grew until it covered the whole land. And from that one cloud, there came the rain. Now Elias understood this cloud represented God’s Mother-to-come, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cloud was in the shape of a foot, and he knew the prophecy of Genesis,that the Woman would crush the serpent’s head with Her foot.
Saint Bonaventure tells us that every page of the Old Testament talks about the Blessed Virgin in one way or another. Holy people have told us that there are two other reasons why this cloud represented the Blessed Virgin:
1) Because the sea was a salt-water sea but the cloud was fresh water. The cloud represented Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. Our Lady arose out of sinful humanity, but She alone was conceived without sin;
2) The cloud also represented the Blessed Virgin as Mediatrix of All Graces. The rain-water represents grace.
The rain-water that fell on all the parched land came from one cloud. It came through the Mediatrix of All Graces. Elias, being a prophet, decided to commemorate this event and he founded a community of hermits on Mount Carmel to prepare for the coming of the Savior and His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Mantle of Elias is Mentioned in Sacred Scripture One time when Elias went across the river Jordan, he took his Mantle off, touched the river with the Mantle and it stopped the river from flowing, so he could cross it (4 Kings 2:8). When he was to be taken up to Heaven, his successor Eliseus asked Elias for his prophetic spirit. Elias said to him, “If I leave my Mantle behind for you, know that you will receive this prophetic spirit.” Scripture tells us when the fiery chariot came and took Elias to Heaven, it separated Elias and Eliseus. Then Eliseus picked up the Mantle left behind by Elias (4 Kings 2:13).
On Pentecost, 10 days after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the spiritual descendants of Elias and his followers came down from Mount Carmel. These were the first to accept the message of Christianity and be baptized by the Apostles. When, at last, they were presented to Our Lady, and heard the sweet words from Her lips, they were overcome with a sense of majesty and sanctity which they never forgot. They returned to their holy mountain, and erected the first chapel ever built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From that time, devotion to God’s Mother became the treasured spiritual legacy of the hermits on Mount Carmel.
It was to the successor of these hermits of Mount Carmel that Our Lady appeared centuries later. The community had just been transferred in 1241 from Mount Carmel in Palestine to Aylesford, England. Saint Simon Stock was made Superior General of the Order for men in 1245.
Weighed down by all the external persecutions and internal dissensions at that time, the 90-year-old Saint Simon Stock had retired to his cell alone. On July 16, 1251 he poured out his heart to the Blessed Virgin Mary — the Flower of Mount Carmel — asking Her to help him and all the Carmelites. Then, accompanied by a multitude of angels, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, holding in Her hands the Scapular of the Order, and said: “This shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege that anyone who dies clothed in this [Scapular] shall not suffer eternal fire.”
The full Carmelite Scapular is made of brown wool, is about 14 inches wide and is worn down to the knees in the front and the back. Saint Simon established the Confraternity of Mount Carmel shortly after this apparition and thus the promise of eternal salvation was extended to Carmelite Confraternity members who died wearing the Carmelite Scapular. Pope Urban IV, in 1262, extended special blessings to these Confraternity members.
Already by 1276 AD the abbreviated form of the Scapular (the Scapular size seen on page 11 of the bookllet in our Articles page of the Scapular) existed as can be seen by the still-preserved small Scapular of Pope Gregory X, who died that year and was buried with his Scapular on. Five hundred and fifty-four years later, it was found intact in 1830 in his tomb and is still preserved in the Arezzo (Italy) museum today. There are historical records of Carmelite Confraternity meetings of lay people in Florence, Italy in 1280 AD.
A Sign of Salvation and Protection Wearing the Brown Scapular is a sign of predestination just as reciting the Holy Rosary is a sign of predestination. On July 16, 1251, Our Lady gave the Brown Scapular to Saint Simon Stock. On July 16, 1858, on the 18th and last apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes, she appeared to Bernadette, dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The Scapular also represents Our Lady’s protection and Her care for us. She promised to Saint Simon Stock: “It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” As you will see in the various miracles of the Brown Scapular in the (Book and articles menu, you may continue to read the full text)through the centuries Our Lady has kept this promise.
The Scapular worn by laity is two pieces of brown wool joined by ribbon, string, cord or chain. It is Our Lady’s garment. And by putting on the Scapular we place ourselves under Her Mantle. Our Lady held out the Scapular to us at Fatima, wanting
us all to wear it and to offer it to others. Saint Alphonsus tells us: “Modern heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular. They decry it as so much trifling nonsense.” Yet we know that many of the Popes have approved and recommended it.
Two great founders of Religious Orders, Saint Alphonsus of the Redemptorists and Saint John Bosco of the Salesians,
were devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and both wore Her Brown Scapular. When they died, each was buried in his priestly vestments and Scapular. Many years later, their graves were opened, the bodies and sacred vestments in which they were buried were dust. BUT THE BROWN SCAPULAR WHICH EACH WAS WEARING WAS PERFECTLY INTACT. The Scapular of Saint Alphonsus is displayed in his Monastery in Rome.
Morning Offering(On rising from Sleeping)