2001 Issue #7
Now... Can You Answer These Scapular Questions?
do we know that our Lady made the Scapular Promise?
does the Promise mean?
must we do to be members of our Lady's family of Carmel?
is the sign of membership?
can I get others to wear the Scapular?
non-Catholics wear the Scapular?
wearing the Scapular, must I say some special prayers
to obtain the Promise?
the Scapular medal as good as the cloth Scapular?
the Scapular more valuable than the Rosary or the Miraculous
it true that those who die clothed in the Scapular are
not only sure of being saved, but are also sure of being
freed from Purgatory on the first Saturday after death?
answer to #10 is below, and on the back page are the other
to a Carmelite tradition, our Lady appeared to Pope John XXII,
in the early fourteenth century. She recommended to him the
Carmelite Order, and granted them an indulgence from heaven,
in which all we who are enrolled in the brown scapular may
participate. This miraculous promise has been preached by
the Carmelites for centuries, and was approved after investigation
by the Roman Inquisition, in the form below:
people may piously believe in the help which the souls of
brothers and members, who have departed this life in charity,
have worn throughout life the scapular, have ever observed
chastity, have recited the -Little Office of the Blessed
Virgin, or, if they cannot read, have observed the fast
days of the Church, and have abstained from flesh meat on
Wednesdays and Saturdays (except when Christmas falls on
such days), may derive after death - especially on Saturdays,
the day consecrated by the Church to the Blessed Virgin
- through the unceasing intercession of Mary, her pious
petitions, her merits, and her special protection."
of the Roman Inquisition on January 20, 1613. 20, 1613.
obligation to read the Little Office and to abstain from meat
may on important grounds be changed for other pious works,
by any confessor.
feast of our Lady of Mt. Carmel is July 16. Suffice it for
me to encourage every one to be enrolled in the brown scapular,
to wear the brown scapular, and to share the scapular devotion
with your neighbours. There is no opposition between the Rosary
and the Scapular, rather, together these devotions honour
the Mother of God.
to you in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I am,
Simon Stock and the Scapular
holy man, St. Simon, was born in England, in the County of
Kent, in 1165. His parents were of the nobility, and from
his earliest infancy he was endowed with many extraordinary
graces; when he was 12 years of age he withdrew into solitude,
where he lived for twenty years in the trunk of an hollow
oak, which served him for an oratory, a bed and cell. His
food was only herbs and roots, and sometimes bread, which
a dog brought him, especially on festival days. With water
from a rivulet close by he quenched his thirst.
and perpetual exercise of celestial mediation were his sole
occupations, and Simon received many supernatural graces from
God, and especially he enjoyed the familiar conversation of
the Blessed Virgin, who appearing one day to him, told him,
that shortly some religious men, who were under her protection,
were to come from Palestine to England, and that he should
embrace their institute.
prediction of the sacred Virgin was verified in the year 1212,
when Sir Richard Grey and Sir John Viscoy returning from Palestine
with the English fleet, that was sent thither to succor the
Christians against the Saracens, they brought with them from
Mount Carmel, two religious men, Rhodolphus and Yno. Simon
admonished by the Blessed Virgin went and cast himself at
the feet of these fathers, who immediately admitted him amongst
life of the new monk was so exemplary and holy that all looked
upon him not as one of earth, but as an angel of heaven. After
he had made his solemn vows, his superior sent him to Oxford
to study theology, but however eminent he was by his learning
he could only be induced to receive the minor orders. Inflamed
with the same fire which had consumed the illustrious Prophet
Elias, he wholly devoted himself to missionary labour, and
was so successful that the whole island became animated with
new fervor; numerous and wonderful were the conversions which
followed his sermons; extraordinary the miracles which were
wrought by this servant of God. He changed water into wine.
1245, the Latin Carmelite General Alanus having died, Simon
was by common consent and unanimous vote elected General of
the whole Order in the place of the deceased. This took place
in Aisleford, England. He did much to propagate the Order
in England and governed it with singular ability. St Simon
also succeeded perfectly in promoting in his Order an ardent
devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1265, when visiting
the Convents of his Order, in France, he ended his happy days
in the city of Bordeaux on the 16th of May.
the time that St. Simon was General great troubles disturbed
the church and many persecutions were raised against the holy
Order, some opposing its privileges, others disliking honourable
title, which they enjoyed, to be called the Brothers and Sisters
of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, and St. Simon
suffered much for the defense of his Order; but in the midst
of these troubles he experienced great fervor of spirit; with
many tears he turned to the most glorious Virgin, to whom
he had ever recourse in all his necessities, and she as a
pious mother never frustrated his expectations. He entreated
her that as she had shown herself so favourable to the Order,
which had been instituted for so long a time and had been
adorned with the title of her holy name, which had been confirmed
by the Popes, and illustrated by the lives of so many saints,
she would be pleased to grant it some peculiar privilege or
sign, by which all would know that she was the chief patroness
and special protectress of the Carmelites. He composed many
prayers and anthems in honour of the glorious Mother of God,
and particularly the following: "Flos Carmeli, Vitis
Florigera, Splendor Coeli, Virgo Puerpera, Singularis, Mater
Mitis, Sed viri nescia, Carmelitis, Da privilegia, Stella
maris. Flower of Carmel, Blossoming vine, Splendor of Heaven,
Virgin bearing, Singularly, Meek Mother, Not knowing man,
To the Carmelites, Give privileges, O, Star of the Sea."
these prayers with great fervor, he deserved to be heard by
the Blessed Virgin. As he was upon his knees in the Oratory,
the most glorious Virgin, clad in great splendor, and surrounded
with a multitude of blessed saints, and thousands of angels,
appeared to him, holding a brown scapular in her hand; she
said to him:
most beloved son, the Scapular of thy Order, a sign of my
confraternity, a privilege both to thee and to all Carmelites,
in which he that dieth shall not suffer eternal fire; behold
the sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, a covenant of
peace and everlasting alliance."
said these words, she left the sacred habit in his hands and
vanished. This happened on the 16th day of July, 1251, in
the Carmelite convent of Cambridge, which, like that of London,
went by the name of the White Friars, so called from the white
garment (the imitation of the cloak of Elias) that these religious
ordinarily wear. Now the Carmelites wear both, the white cloak
of Elias and the brown Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and well do they wear both garments, remembering their double
Simon, filled with amazement and the sweetest consolation,
transported out of himself by the favour he had received from
the Ever Blessed Virgin, made known to his religious and to
others the remarkable favour, and commanded that in every
Convent of the Order, prayers should be offered to God, to
ask Him to confirm and authenticate this singular favour of
the Queen of Heaven. In the year 1251 another persecution
was excited against our religious by the pastors and curates
of the parish churches. But Pope Innocent IV, by four ample
briefs confirmed, by apostolical authority, the favour....
number of the faithful of all ranks, who desired to be enrolled
in the Confraternity of Mount Carmel and participate in this
treasure, increased every day. The Scapulars were blessed
in the churches of the Carmelites and distributed amongst
the people, and various authors assure us that no devotion
has been more approved of or more generally spread throughout
the Christian world than that of the holy Scapular."
from The Brown Scapular of MountCarmel, by Fr. Pius, O.C.C.
Because (1) the fact of Her appearance to St. Simon has been
recorded by reliable historians; (2) miracles have been wrought
in confirmation thereof; (3) the Church has propagated the
Scapular Devotion for seven centuries so that there is hardly
any devotion to Mary that is universal.
The Promise means that one will not die in mortal sin if he
dies as a member of our Lady's Scapular Family.
We must (1) be enrolled in the Confraternity by a duly authorized
priest and we must (2) wear the sign of membership.
The Brown Scapular which is a small garment made from two
rectangular pieces of woven wool joined by cords and WORN
OVER BOTH SHOULDERS, one part in front and one part in back.
The cords can be of any material, even golden chains; the
BROWN pieces of WOVEN WOOL are the essential parts.
Usually telling them of Our Lady's Promise will be enough.
Almost every Catholic is enrolled in the Scapular after his
First Communion and we need only urge such
to put the Scapular on and to keep it on. However, if we know
some Catholics who have not been enrolled, we must get them
to see a priest to be enrolled and to then wear the Scapular
Many, many conversions have been wrought through the wearing
of the Scapular. Non-Catholics cannot indeed be enrolled in
the Scapular and participate in the good works of the other
members of the Confraternity and in the more indulgences,
but they can wear the Scapular as a sign of devotion to Mary.
No. Our Lady's Promise is attached simply to the wear- ing
of the Scapular. Since that is an act which continually renders
Her a homage of confidence, love and supplication. The simple
wearing of the Scapular is A TRUE DEVOTION to Mary and if
we persevere in it we cannot be lost.
The Scapular medal was primarily intended for natives in the
tropics, as a substitute for the cloth Scapular. Hence, we
should not wear it in place of the cloth without good reason.
St. Claude de la Colombiere says: "I would reproach myself
were I to weaken your confidence in other devotions to Mary,
all of which cannot fail to touch Her maternal heart. But
if Our Lady is gracious to those who practice other devotions,
how much more propitious shall She not be to those who wear
Her holy Scapular!"