Sunday, July 16, 2006
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel & The Brown Scapular
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Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): July 16
Greater Double (1955 Calendar): July 16

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel commemorates when Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, the superior general of the Carmelites, in Cambridge, England, on Sunday, July 16, 1251. The Carmelite Order was founded in the 1100s on Mount Carmel, the same place in the Holy Land mentioned in the Bible in 1 Kings 18:16-40. It was there that the prophet Elijah took his stand against the pagan prophets of Baal and Asherah by the power of God.

St. Simon Stock had appealed to Mary through prayer to help the new Carmelite order to overcome oppression. She appeared with the Brown Scapular and said to him:
"Take, beloved son, this scapular of the order as a badge of my confraternity and for you and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant"
Later that day, St. Simon Stock was called promptly by Lord Peter of Linton: "Come quickly, Father, my brother is dying in despair!" St. Simon Stock placed his large Scapular over the dying man and prayed that Mary would keep her promise. The man instantly repented of his sins and died in a state of grace. Blessed Pope Gregory X was buried wearing the Scapular, only 25 years after the vision. When his tomb was opened over 600 years later, the wool scapular remained perfectly intact and had not degraded in the least.

The Church keeps the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th. And to show just how important the Scapular is, she sanctions and encourages the promises of the Scapular. The Blessed Mother promised that whoever dies clothed in the Scapular will not suffer eternal fire. This promise though requires a few conditions on our part. It is not just a piece of magic where we seek to bend the will of God to us. Catholics do not believe in magic. But we do believe in the Scapular as a Sacramental through which we can receive God’s through if we have the right dispositions.

Requirements of the Brown Scapular:
  • The Scapular must hang over the shoulders with one side hanging in the front and the other side hanging in the back
  • The Scapular must be made of 100% wool and be either square or rectangular 
  • One must be properly enrolled in the Brown Scapular. Any priest may say the prayers of enrollment in the Brown Scapular. But wearing the Scapular without the enrollment does not permit the wearer to receive the benefits of the Brown Scapular.
  • One must wear the Scapular at all times. It may of course be taken off to bathe and swim. But the Brown Scapular is not just a devotion we pull out from time to time. It must, with only certain exceptions, be worn at all times.
Sometimes confusion arises on these requirements. Please refer to the website of the Sisters of Carmel for answers to common questions concerning the Scapular.

There is also a promise called the Sabbatine Privilege that is also concerning the Brown Scapular. 

It is piously believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary gave to Pope John XXII in a vision, that She will deliver Her faithful children who have worn the Scapular devoutly from purgatory soon after their death, notably the first Saturday after death. Her words to Pope John XXII: “As a tender Mother, I will descend into purgatory on the Saturday after their death, and will deliver them into the heavenly mansions of life everlasting.”  This Sabbatine Privilege was promulgated and taught through the famous Bull Sacratissimo Uti Culmine (Sabbatine Bull) of Pope John XXII in 1322 and given definitive ratification in 1908 by the Holy See.

Requirements for the Sabbatine Privilege:
  • Wear the Brown Scapular Continuously (as mentioned above)
  • To observe chastity according to one’s state in life
  • Lastly, the daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary or to abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays or with the permission of a priest say 5 decades of the Holy Rosary.
Such promises are serious. And God has blessed the Scapular with many miracles, as if to indicate the blessing of the Scapular and the promises attached to them.

In May of 1957, a Carmelite priest in Germany published the unusual story of how the Scapular saved a home from fire. An entire row of homes had caught fire in Westboden, Germany. The pious inhabitants of a 2-family home, seeing the fire, immediately fastened a Scapular to the main door of the house. Sparks flew over it and around it, but the house remained unharmed. Within 5 hours, 22 homes had been reduced to ashes. The one structure which had the Scapular attached to its door. The hundreds of people who came to see the place Our lady had saved are eye-witnesses to the power of the Scapular and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Another Scapular story that bears repeating took place in 1845. In the late summer of that year, the English ship, "king of the Ocean" found itself in the middle of a wild hurricane. As wind and sea mercilessly lashed the ship, a Protestant minister, together with his wife and children and other passengers, struggled to the deck to pray for forgiveness and mercy, as the end seemed at hand. Among the crew was a young Irishman, John McAuliffe. On seeing the urgency of the situation, the youth opened his shirt took off his Scapular, and, making The sign of the Cross with it over the raging waves tossed it into the ocean. At that very moment, the wind calmed. Only one more wave washed the deck, bringing with it the Scapular which came to rest at the boy's feet. All the while the minister; a Mr. Fisher, had been carefully observing McAuliffe's actions and the miraculous effect of those actions. Upon questioning the young man, they were told about the Holy Virgin and Her Scapular. Mr. Fisher and his family were so impressed that they were determined to enter the Catholic Church as soon as possible, and thereby enjoy the same protection of Our Lady's Scapular.

One of the most extraordinary of all Scapular incidents took place right here in the United States. It happened around the turn of the century in the town of Ashtabula, Ohio, that a man was cut in two but a train; he was wearing the Scapular. Instead of dying instantly, as would be expected he remained alive and conscious for 45 minutes -- just enough time until a priest could arrive to administer the Last Sacraments. These, and other such incidents, tell us that Our Blessed Mother will take personal care of us in the hour of our death. So great and powerful a Mother is Mary that She will never fail to keep the Scapular contract, i.e. to see that we die in God's grace.

These are just some of the many miracles attributed to the Blessed Mother. There are many, many others attributed to the Brown Scapular.


"One Day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I will save the world” (Words of our Lady to St. Dominic)

In wearing the Scapular at all times we make silent petition for the Blessed Mother’s continual assistance. We share in all the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Scapular Confraternity throughout the world. Pope Pius XII often spoke of the Scapular. On the 700th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady to St. Simon Stock, Pope Pius XII referred to the Scapular as “the sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. The Scapular also represents the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ, which Mary helps us to bear. And finally, the pope continued, the Scapular marks us as one of Mary’s chosen children, and becomes for us (as the Germans call it) a “Garment of Grace”. St. Claude tells us, “Of all the pious practices which have inspired the faithful to honor the Mother of God, there is none so sure as that of the Scapular.

No other devotion has been confirmed by so many and such extraordinary miracles.” As we mentioned above, during the Scapular Anniversary celebration in Rome in 1951, Pope Pius XII told a very large audience to wear the Brown Scapular as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady asked for this consecration in the last apparition at Fatima, when She appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding the Brown Scapular out to the whole world. It was Her last moving appeal to souls to wear Her Scapular as a sign of consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.

Are there any friends who need to know about the scapular? Share this with them. Do you need to encourage any Catholics who were never enrolled to be enrolled? Do you know any Catholics who were enrolled long ago and no longer wear the Scapular. Consider buying them a Scapular. Even if they are not overly religious, they will likely never refuse a gift.

Click here to browse various affordable Scapulars for sale.

Also, it’s important to realize that the Brown Scapular is only one of 17 different approved Scapulars. All of the other Scapulars have various requirements and promises. You would need to be enrolled in each of them as all have different prayers of enrollment.

Prayer:

O God, Who hast honored the Order of Carmel with the special title of Thy most Blessed Mother Mary, ever Virgin: mercifully grant, that we who celebrate her memory this day with solemn office, may be shielded by her protection and deserve to come to everlasting joys: Who livest and reignest.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal




11. BLESSING AND INVESTITURE WITH SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL (1962 Rituale Romanum)

(Formerly reserved to the Order of Discalced Carmelites)

The person who is to receive the scapular is kneeling. The priest vested in surplice and white stole, says:

The antiphon, versicles, and the prayer "May Christ," etc., for all of which see below. Then he adds the following versicles and oration:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All: Both now and forevermore.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty God and everlasting Father, who willed that your only- begotten Son be clothed in our mortal nature, we humbly beg you in your boundless goodness to let your blessing + flow out on this garment, which our holy fathers have sanctioned to be worn by those who renounce the world, in token of innocence and lowliness. Let it please you to endow it with such blessing, + that he (she), who is to wear it, may likewise put on our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

Then he says the prayer "We earnestly beg you," etc., see below; after which he sprinkles the habit with holy water. If only the habit is to be blessed, the blessing begins with the versicle Our help etc. (see above) and concludes with the aforementioned prayer "We earnestly beg you," etc.

As he invests the person with the habit he says: "Take, dear brother," etc. (see below); after which he adds:

Lord, hear our humble entreaties, and help this servant of yours, whom we enroll in the holy sodality of the Carmelites, to be ever constant and true to his (her) proposal, and to serve you in all holiness. Protect your servant, Lord, with the saving grace of peace; and as he (she) confides himself (herself) to the patronage of blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, let him (her) be safe from all adversaries.

Then he blesses the new member with the sign of the cross, using the prayer "May almighty God," etc., below.

He sprinkles the person with holy water; after which he adds:

By the delegated power which I enjoy, I receive you into the confraternity of the holy order of Carmelites, and enroll you as a partaker of all the spiritual benefits of this order; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

7 comment(s):

del_button July 16, 2006 at 9:03 PM
Michael said...

Great post there money bags! Today is indeed a great day, It is also my 1 year anniversary of my St. Louis De Montfort Total consecration to Jesus through Mary. I highly recommend this consecration to anyone who wants a closer and more intimate relationship to Jesus and Mary his immaculate mother.

del_button July 16, 2006 at 10:50 PM
Jean Heimann said...

Great post, Moneybags! Very thorough and explained well.

Happy Anniversary, St. Michael the Archangel!

I made my consecration on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is a very special occasion.

God bless,
Jean

del_button July 16, 2006 at 11:20 PM
Matthew said...

I never have fully consecrated myself. But, I have wanted to. Is there a website with all of the prayers for this?

del_button July 17, 2006 at 6:00 AM
Michael said...

Hey Money,

Here is the site that I used when I was first researching the devotion. I would recommend going out to a good catholic book store and buying the little black book on the total consecration, it has all the prayers in it and you will use it alot.

Here is the link to the online version.

http://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

del_button July 17, 2006 at 6:01 AM
Michael said...

www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

del_button January 31, 2008 at 12:45 PM
Anonymous said...

I want all to know that our Blessed Mother Mary has given me a sign upon wearing the brown scapular. I was cured of my sleep disorders. Wear it with faith. Mother Mary leads us to Jesus.

-Rommel

del_button March 28, 2011 at 9:32 AM
Jobadiah said...

AMEN!!=)

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