(Scroll down for the Our Lady of Fatima and Garabandal references to Fatima)
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!
Our Lady of Fatima:
September 13, 1917: Continue saying the Rosary to obtain the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Dolours and Our Lady of Carmel.
Apparitions visible to Lucia during the Miracle of the Sun:
After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, the apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Dolour’s. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel.
Exchange between Sister Lucia and Fr. H. Rafferty, August 15, 1950: Fr.: Did Our Lady of Mount Carmel come at Fatima?
Lucia: Oh, yes Father, she did.
Fr.: Why did Our Lady come that way? … What did she mean? Lucia: She meant that we should wear the scapular….
Fr.: Everyone in America believes there are four conditions of the Fatima message. First of all, we are to say the rosary every day. Secondly, we are to offer the sacrifices of our daily lives. Thirdly, we are to make communions of reparations on First Saturdays. Finally, we are to consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Lucia: Oh, there is one more condition–the wearing of the scapular–the symbol of our consecration…. Fr.: Which is more important: the saying of the daily rosary or the wearing of the scapular all of the time? Lucia: Father, the rosary and the scapular are inseparable. You cannot have one without having the other.
THE LIVERY OF MARY
By Fathers Francois Turner, O.P., and Alfred Combe O beautiful flower of Carmel,
Most fruitful vine
Splendor of heaven, Virgin most singular,
Who brought forth the Son of God,
While remaining ever a Virgin,
On the children of Carmel,
Bestow your gifts,
O Star of the Sea!
The Scapular of Lourdes, Fatima and Garabandal
Since the fourth centenary of St, Simon Stock’s vision, the village of Lourdes, fief of Mary since the Middle Ages, was the site of a confraternity of the scapular in the parish church.
This congregation soon became the most thriving one in the region and in 1654, a chapel was built in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Despite its intense persecution of the Church, the French Revolution was not able to extinguish the Marian devotion of Lourdes, and it was perfectly natural that Bernadette Soubirous received the scapular on the day of her First Communion.
After the seventeenth apparition at Lourdes, three months went by without Bernadette seeing “the Beautiful Lady.” Then came July 16, I858, feast of Our Lady of Mount Camel. Bernadette put on her scapular. She received “the call* which did not deceive and again went to the grotto, where she saw the Virgin “more beautiful than ever.” It marked the eighteenth and final apparition of the Immaculate Virgin Mary at Lourdes.
On October 13, 1917, at Fatima, Our Lady appeared in the Cova da Iria for the last time. Lucy, the principal visionary, recalls: “Upon arriving, I saw Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus. Later, I saw Our Lord alone, then Our Lady of Sorrows, and finally the Lady appeared to me to be Our Lady of Mount Camel. She held something hanging from her hand.”
Lucy later became a Carmelite and is convinced that it was at the prompting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She also said that the scapular is very important.
On July 1, 1961, in the little mountain village of San Sebastian de Garabandal, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to the four visionaries and announced that on the following day, feast of the Visitation that year, the Blessed Virgin would appear to them under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
St, Michael and another angel accompanied the Virgin, who appeared with a scapula on her right arm. On one panel of the scapular, the seers noticed a small mountain, on the other was a cross. The, mountain recalls for us the dramatic confrontation between Elijah, the prophet of Yahweh, and the idolaters; the seal of original alliance given on Mount Sinai and later restored there. The cross on the other panel recalls the New Covenant sealed by the Son of Man in His very own blood.
Widely Propagated Throughout the World
Ever since the end of the sixteenth century, the scapular has been worn by a great number of Catholics from all walks of life: kings, princes, nobles or simple folk; monks, nuns, brothers, priests, bishops and popes.
The List of saints who wore it is endless. To cite only a few: Robert Bellarmine, Charles Borromeo, Benoit Cottolengo, Alphonsus Liguori, John Bosco, Dominic Savio, Bernadette Soubirous.
Most of the popes of the last three centuries have worn the scapular as a sign of their consecration to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most notably Pope Pius XII, John XXIII and our present Pope John Paul II. On August 6, 1950 the seventh anniversary of his election, Pope Pius XII said of Our Lady’s sacramental:
“The scapular is a Marian habit…. How many souls, from the circumstances of human despair, owe their final conversion and their eternal salvation to the scapular in which they were clothed! How many also, in danger of body or soul are saved by the grace of the maternal protection of Mary.”