July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, would be a good time to begin wearing the Scapular again – or time to be enrolled in it
MARY’S PROMISE TO THOSE WHO WEAR THE SCAPULAR
Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying : Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire …. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.
Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”
CONDITIONS AND RITUALS ATTACHED TO THE SCAPULAR
According to Church tradition, there are three conditions necessary to participate in this Privilege and share in the other spiritual benefits of the Scapular: wear the Brown Scapular, observe chastity according to your state in life, and pray the Rosary. In addition to the Sabbatine Privilege, enrollment in the Brown Scapular also makes a person part of the Carmelite family throughout the world. They therefore share in all of the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Orders. Participation in the Carmelite family also, of course, places you in a special relationship with the Carmelite saints, especially St. Elijah, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, and, most importantly, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
In order to receive the spiritual blessings associated with the Scapular, it is necessary to be formally enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a lay person who has been given this faculty. Once enrolled, the enrollment is for life and need not be repeated. Anyone, adult or infant, who has not previously been enrolled may be enrolled in the Brown Scapular.
VALUE AND MEANING OF THE SCAPULAR
Many popes and saints have strongly recommended wearing, the Brown Scapular to the Catholic Faithful, including St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope John XXII, Pope Pius Xl, and Pope Benedict XV. For example, St. Alphonsus said: “Just as men take pride in having others wear their livery, so 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.”
Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: “The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.” In our own times, Pope Paul VI said: “Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel” and in another place referred to the Scapular as: “so highly recommended by our illustrious predecessors.”
For those who may think that the story of Our Lady making a promise that those who wear the Brown Scapular will be saved from eternal damnation is a pious legend without truth, it is important to point out that at Fatima—an approved modern Marian apparition witnessed by tens of thousands of people—Our Lady appeared to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta as Our Lady of the Rosary, while holding a rosary, and next as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, while holding a scapular.
Both praying the rosary and wearing the scapular daily are requests of Our Lady and signs of consecration to her. She always comes to the aid of those who entrust themselves to her maternal intercession and protection.
“It’s a tangible symbol and sacramental of the deeper reality of Mary, clothing and protecting us with her own mantle.” “It’s a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that Mary will assure the salvation of those devoted to her, Many times we’re protected from the Evil One through the scapular.” (Carmelite Father Justin Francis)
O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (here kiss your Scapular a sign of your consecration and to receive a partial indulgence) I offer Thee the precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with it the offering of my every thought, word and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them in the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us. Amen.
You can order scapulars here at christogifts.com/scapulars
Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel July 7-July 16th
The Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a powerful Nine Day Novena honouring Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This custom of the Novena of Our Lady of Mount Carmel before the feast is a long tradition and is observed by many Catholics throughout the world. Wearing the Brown Scapular promises the wearer a share in the prayers and good works of the entire Carmelite Family. It is a privileged sign of affiliation to the Carmelite Order and is a highly endowed sacramental.
A sign of dedication to Mary, it reminds us to walk in her footsteps in the following of her Son.
The Brown Scapular as well as the Rosary is also linked to the appearance of Our Lady to the three children at Fatima. Her final appearance there was on the 13th of October, 1917, when she appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the Scapular.
Each day, for nine days, make you petition to Our Heavenly Mother for all your very special needs. It is a time of prayer and reflection that will bring you closer to her heart and that of Jesus, her son.