Inspirational Resources

    Recent Scapular Stories

    At St. Jude’s Church off of Boston Avenue, in downtown San Diego, Mother Teresa came to meet
    some AIDS patients. It was June, 1996. At some point during the meeting she gave them brown
    scapulars. Then they all returned to their AIDS home. A few days later, Jeśus, one of the patients, felt
    close to death and remembered Mother Teresa talking about the Brown Scapular and the Blessed
    Virgin Mary. He asked one of the nurses if she could put it back on him (they had taken it off when they
    were washing him). She said yes, but then forgot to do it. In the middle of the night she remembered
    and came into the darkened room. Without turning on any lights, while she was placing the Scapular
    around his neck, Jeśus suddenly called out, “Turn out the lights! It’s too bright!” The nurse saw a light
    and became frightened. She ran out of the room looking for some co-workers, to see if she was going
    crazy, or if they too could see a light. As they entered the whole room lit up momentarily and Jeśus
    died. Nine people witnessed this.

    A man in the San Bernardino area received a phone call from his son who lives in Washington State.
    “Dad, I think I’m having a heart attack! I’m having trouble breathing and my chest feels constricted.”
    “Are you wearing your scapular?” the father asks him. “No, but why bring that up now? I just told you I’
    m having a heart attack.!!” The father knew that his son was in a state of grave sin, not living up to his
    Catholic upbringing, and the father, a devout Catholic, trusted in the Scapular promise, namely that no
    one clothed in this scapular shall suffer eternal fire; and if, while wearing it they die, they shall be
    saved. In other words, he trusted in what St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope Benedict XV and others taught:
    that anyone dying in Mary’s family (the Carmelite Order or the Brown Scapular Confraternity of Our Lady
    of Mt. Carmel) will receive from her, at the hour of death, either the grace of perseverance in the state of
    grace or the grace of final contrition for their sins. The father told his son, “look, just find your scapular
    and put it on. Your mother and I will do what we can for you. We will pray a Rosary for you, and then call
    you when we finish. OK?” So he hung up. After they prayed the Rosary his wife called her son back to
    see how he was doing. “Mom, I can’t believe it,” he told her. “As soon as I put the scapular on, all the
    symptoms just disappeared. Just like that.”

    This same man was running around the track at a local school, getting some exercise. At the track he
    met two other men, and they spent some time in conversation. It turned out that they were both fallen-
    away Catholics, no longer going to Church, etc. So the man spoke to them about the Catholic faith,
    about Mass, and so on, and gave each of them a scapular before departing. A few months later he is
    helping out at a soup kitchen, where a man keeps trying to get his attention. Because he tries to avoid
    this man, the man finally gets right in his face, and says, “Do you remember me?” “No.” “You gave me
    a scapular a while ago. Now do you remember?” “No. I’m sorry. I give lots of scapulars away.” “Well, I
    met you while working out at a track. I didn’t tell you this at the time, but for 10 years every night. I would
    have these terrible nightmares. I would dream of snakes chasing me and trying to eat me. Every night I
    would wake up from this nightmare so shaken that I couldn’t get to sleep after that. It got so bad I felt
    like killing myself at times. But from the day you gave me that scapular and I put it on, I haven’t had one
    of those nightmares again.” (Genesis 3:15 and Rev 12: Both the woman and her child, Jesus and
    Mary, are in a life and death battle with the ancient dragon, the serpent, and they together overcome
    Satan. Not just Jesus, but Jesus and Mary.)

    A woman was enrolled in the brown scapular. That night she had a powerful dream about something
    that had happened in the past. It moved her to go to confession the very next day and to receive
    absolution from Jesus through the priest. She was delivered of a great burden she had been carrying
    for years.

    The story is told that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock (an English Carmelite priest
    and brother) in the 13 th century, and that she gave him an article of clothing called a brown scapular
    (so called because it hangs over the scapula or shoulder bones) as an abiding sign of her special
    love and motherly protection. It is also said that she gave him and all who devoutly wear the Bowen
    Scapular this promise: “This shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege, that anyone who dies
    clothed in this shall not suffer eternal fire; and if wearing it they die, they shall be saved.” By wearing it,
    or even better, being enrolled in it, a person is saying “Yes” to Mary. “Yes, I want you to be my heavenly
    mother. Yes, I believe that when I was baptized I became a member of God’s family, and that I have not
    only a Heavenly Father, God, but also a heavenly, Blessed Mother, you, God’s greatest creature. (I also
    believe that, as part of this Family, I have older brothers and sisters, the angles and saints.) I believe in
    and want your special love for me; I want your motherly protection. I, for my part, will try to live up to the
    demands of the Christian life in imitation of you and your Son Jesus Christ. By clothing me with this
    physical sign of you motherly love, I trust that you will also help clothe me with your virtues of humility,
    of faith, hope and charity for Jesus, of prayer and self-forgetfulness, of friendship with and obedience
    to God and His Church, and with your other virtues.”

    It is also good to keep in mind that the brown scapular is not a magical charm that will get you into
    Heaven automatically. It is meant to be used as an act of religion, not as an act of superstition.
    Superstition is trying to get God to do what you want. Religion is trying to get yourself to do what God
    wants. And Jesus and Mary, you Blessed Mother, working through the Scapular will help you to do God’
    s will, so that you can already taste – in this life! – the joy of really being a son or daughter in God’s
    Family. In gratitude remember to kiss your Scapular and pray this prayer each day.

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