A magnificent assurance of Salvation is Our Lady’s Brown Scapular. One of the great mysteries of our time is that the great majority of Catholics either ignore or have forgotten the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise: “Take this Scapular, 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.” She further says: “Wear it devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”
Many Catholics may not know that it is the wish of our Holy Father, the Pope, that the Scapular Medal should not be worn in place of the Cloth Scapular without sufficient reason. Mary cannot be pleased with anyone who substitutes the medal out of vanity or fear to make open profession of religion. Such persons run the risk of not receiving the promise. The medal has never been noted for any of the miraculous preservations attributed to the Brown Cloth Scapular. To obtain the fullest possible benefits from the Brown Scapular devotion, one must be validly invested (sometimes called enrolled) in the Brown Scapular by a priest. Every priest has the privilege of enrolling Catholics in the Scapular. After having received the initial blessed Scapular from a priest, no other Scapular need be blessed before wearing. The blessing and imposition are attached to the wearer for life.
During the Scapular Anniversary celebration in Rome, 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 loving appeal to souls to wear Her Scapular as a sign of Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.
St. Claude de la Colombiere, the renowned Jesuit and spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary, gives a point which is enlightening. He said: “Because all the forms of our love for the Blessed Virgin, all its various modes of expression cannot be equally pleasing to Her, and therefore do not assist us in the same degree to Heaven. I say without a moments hesitation that the BROWN SCAPULAR IS THE MOST FAVORED OF ALL!” He also adds: “No devotion has been confirmed by more numerous authentic miracles than the Brown Scapular.”
The two great founders of their own respective Orders, St. Alphonsus of the Redemptorists and St. Don Bosco of the Salesians – both had a very special devotion to Our Lad of Mount Carmel and both wore Her Brown Scapular. When they died, they were buried in their priestly vestments and Scapulars. Many years later, their graves were opened. The bodies and sacred vestments in which they were buried decayed, BUT THE BROWN SCAPULAR WHICH EACH WAS WEARING WAS PERFECTLY INTACT. The Scapular of St. Alphonsus is on exhibit in his monastery in Rome.
We should even give the Scapular to non-Catholics as Our Lady will bring conversions to those who will wear it and say one Hail Mary each day as the following true story will show: An old man was rushed to the St. Simon Stock Hospital in New York City, unconscious and dying. The nurse, seeing the Brown Scapular on the patient, called the priest. As he was saying the prayers for the dying, the man became conscious and spoke up: “Father, I am not a Catholic.” “Then why are you wearing the Brown Scapular?” asked the priest. “I promised my friends to wear it,” the patient explained, “and say one Hail Mary a day.” “You are dying,” the priest told him. “Do you want to become a Catholic?” “All my life I wanted to be one,” the gasping man replied. He was baptized, received the last rites and died in peace. Our Lady took another soul under Her mantle, through Her SCAPULAR!
The devils revealed to Francis of Yepes, the brother of St. John of the Cross that three things especially tormented them. The first is the NAME OF JESUS; the second, the NAME OF MARY; and third, THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL. “Take off that habit,” they cried to him, “which snatches too many souls from us. All those clothed in it die piously and escape us.”
“The Scapular must be worn on the shoulders in such a manner that one part hangs in front of the body and the other in back. Worn in any other way it carries no indulgence or promise.”
The Sabbatine Privilege
The Scapular even extends to Purgatory. The Sabbatine Privilege is based on the Papal Bull issued on March 3, 1322 by Pope John XXII. This Privilege was approved and confirmed by many popes including St. Pius V. It essentially says that those who wear the Scapular and fulfill two other conditions can obtain early liberation from Purgatory, through the special intercession of the Virgin Mary, on the day consecrated to her, Saturday.
The other two conditions are: 1) Observe chastity according to one’s state in life and 2) Recite the Little Office of Our Blessed Mother (the Rosary, with permission from a priest, can be substituted for the office). The other two conditions are: 1) Observe chastity according to one’s state in life and 2) Recite the Little Office of Our Blessed Mother (the Rosary, with permission from a priest, can be substituted for the office). Our Lady revealed to Venerable Dominic of Jesus and Mary: “Although many wear my Scapular, only a few fulfill conditions for the Sabbatine Privilege.” We maintain the majority don’t know them. It is an act of charity to make the Sabbatine Privilege known to all. A soul from Purgatory was asked by a Sister: “What is the average stay of the souls in Purgatory?” The Poor Soul answered: “From thirty to forty years!” Can you see the importance of making Our Lady’s Privilege known – if you consider that the flames are the same as the fires of Hell!
A last reminder – we give you the message of one pastor. He said: “If I were positive that all my parishioners died wearing the Brown Scapular, I would be most certain that we would all meet in Heaven.” If this pastor can be so certain about his parishioners, why can’t all pastors be just as certain? Give your pastor this circular. Why can’t every father and mother be certain of their children, family and friends? Explain to them the SCAPULAR PROMISE and the SABBATINE PRIVILEGE. Heed Our Lady’s wish: “Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly . . . It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.”
Enrollment and Blessing Formula for the Brown Scapular
Priest: Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy. All: And grant us Thy salvation. Priest: O Lord, hear my prayer.
All: And let my cry come unto Thee. Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit. Priest: Let us pray:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, by Thy right hand sanctify + these Scapulars (this Scapular) which Thy servants will devoutly wear for the love of Thee and of Thy Mother; the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel; so that, by her intercession, they may be protected from the wickedness of the enemy and persevere in Thy grace until death; Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
The priest now sprinkles the Scapular with Holy Water, after which he places the Scapular on each one saying:
Receive this blessed Scapular and ask the Most Holy Virgin that, by her merits, it may be worn with no stain of sin and may protect you from all harm and bring you into everlasting life. Amen.
After placing the Scapular on each person, the priest continues:
By the power granted to me, I admit you to a share in all the spiritual works performed with the merciful help of Jesus Christ, by the religious of Mount Carmel, in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen
May Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, bless + you whom He has been pleased to receive into the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. We beg her to crush the head of the ancient serpent in the hour of your death, and, in the end, to obtain for you a palm and the crown of your everlasting inheritance.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. The priest now sprinkles those enrolled with Holy Water.
If you are not receiving the benefits of the Brown Scapular, be sure to get one, be enrolled in the Brown Scapular by a priest if you have never been, and be sure to wear it! And don’t forget to speak to others about its importance. Our Lady requested that we “Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is My garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of Me, and I in turn am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.” God is at work in you!