1. What is the Brown
The Brown Scapular is a small garment made of
two pieces of brown wool, joined by stringsand worn over the shoulders. It was first made
known by Our Lady Herself, July 16th 1251, to St. Simon Stock.
2. What is Our
Lady's Scapular promise ?
In revealing the significance of the Scapular,
Our Lady spoke as follows: 'Receive this habit of your Order; this shall be to you and to all
Carmelites a privilege that
"WHOSOEVER DIES CLOTHED IN THIS HABIT SHALL
NEVER SUFFER ETERNAL FIRE ".
3. What does the
Our Lady does not mean by Her promise that
those who die in mortal sin will be saved. The Promise means that anyone in Mary's family or
Confraternity will receive through Her, at the hour of death, the grace to die
4. What is
necessary in order to die a member of Our Lady's Confraternity ?
In order so to die, it is necessary that we be
validly enrolled in the Confraternity, that we have worn the Scapular faithfully in life, and
above all that our manner of life has been worthy of Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother.
Because "by Her motherly love, Mary cares for the brethren of Her Son who still journey on
earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led to their happy home in
(Constitution on the Church, n. 62)
5. Does enrolment
in the Scapular have to be done by a Carmelite priest?
At one time enrolment in the Scapular had to be
done by a Carmelite priest or by one holding the required faculties. Now all priests,
religious or diocesan, may confer the Scapular provided they are approved for hearing
6. Is the
Scapular Medal the same as the cloth Scapular?
In the spiritual tradition of the Carmelite
Order, the Scapular has always been regarded as a little garment signifying our consecration
to Our Lady and Her motherly care of us. However, for grave reasons, a Scapular Medal may be
worn, according to the authorisation of St Pius X who was most anxious that no one should be
deprived of the spiritual benefits of the Scapular, even
though they might not be able to wear the cloth
He added: "However, I desire most vehemently
that the cloth Scapular be worn as heretofore."
No miracles are recorded by wearing the
7. Is it possible
to attach superstitious meaning to the wearing of the
Yes, it is. But ignorance can attach
superstitious meanings to anything. It may be true that some people regard the Scapular as a
charm that will secure heaven for them in spite of their unchristian way of
It will do nothing of the kind; the Scapular is
a Sacramental, which is a material object used as a sign and signifying effects of a
spiritual kind, through the intercession of the Church.
The principal effect of the Sacred Scapular is
to obtain Our Lady's motherly help and protection during life and after death. But all this
takes for granted that we for our part are trying to live in a state of friendship with
The wearing of the Scapular is simply an open
declaration that this is what we are doing.
If our lives do not correspond with what the
Scapular proclaims, to wear it is a mockery.
8. Is it
necessary to say any special prayers to obtain the
No. Our Lady made the
promise on behalf of those who wear the Scapular worthily and die wearing it. But we should
note that this means living in a true Christian manner and practicing real devotion to Our
By this we prove to Her
that we are Her children and merit Her loving protection.
•Here is what the
Vatican Council says:
"Let the faithful remember that true devotion
Blessed Virgin consists neither in a fruitless and passing emotion, nor in a certain vain
Rather it proceeds from The True Faith by which we are led to know the excellence of the Mother of
God and are moved to a filial love towards Her and to the imitation of Her
(Constitution on the Church, n. 67)
9. Must the
Scapular be blessed each time it is renewed?
No. The Scapular is blessed by a priest when a
person is first invested in it, and a new Scapular does not require another blessing or
10. What is the
This privilege applies to people enrolled in
the Scapular of Carmel and who die wearing it.
This is how the Church officially explained
this privilege in July 1908:
" It is permitted to Carmelite Fathers to
preach, and Christians may believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary will extend Her motherly help
to souls in Purgatory who were, while on earth, Her faithful servants. And furthermore we may
believe that Her beneficience in this respect may be exercised on Saturdays, the day of the
week which is specially dedicated to Her."
11. In what other
ways do Catholics show special devotion to Our Lady?
First and foremost by the exercise of the True
Faith which leads us to appreciate the Mother of Jesus for what She truly is. Then we are
to become like Her in some small way. The
children of Our Lady show their love for Her by reciting the Holy Rosary, visiting Her
shrines, by observing the five first Saturdays, wearing Her Scapular and Miraculous Medal,
12. Has the
Church approved of the Scapular Devotion?
The Sovereign Pontiffs have given the greatest
number of approbations to the Brown Scapular, more than to any other confraternity. (Card. H.
• Pope Paul VI wrote:
"Among the practices, commended by the Second
Vatican Council, we would mention by name the Marian Rosary and the devout use of the
Scapular of Carmel. For this Scapular is a form of piety which is adapted to all minds by
reason of its simplicity and has become
universally widespread among the faithful,
producing many and happy fruits."
13. Has Our Lady
Herself reminded us of the Scapular devotion?
Yes. At the moment of the great miracle of
Fatima, She appeared in the garb of our Lady of Mount Carmel, reaching down towards the crowd
Her centuries-old sign of affiliation, the Brown Scapular. She wants us to live the true
consecration to Her, which the Scapular means, to make our lives truly worthy of Her so that
Her promise of eternal salvation may be fulfilled for each one of us.
PROMISE: 'One Day through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world.
Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Dominic: 'Wear
your Scapular Always!' It is worn by those consecrated to Our Lady.
"Work so that She may be loved and served by
you and by the
world." (Pope Pius XII)
Kiss the Scapular frequently; it is a sign of
respect for Our Lady.