Inspirational Resources

    Brown 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 the
    third; the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. “Take off that habit, “they cried to him, “which
    snatches so many souls from us. All those clothed in it die piously and escape us.”

    Your scapular, then should take on deep meaning for you. It is a rich present brought down from
    Heaven by…

    …Our Lady Herself

    “Wear it devoutly and perseveringly,” she says to each soul, “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.”

    Where did the Scapular come from?

    Not long after the coming of Jesus Christ, religious orders began to form. These men or women
    (called Brothers or Sisters) wore special clothes. Those special clothes were called habits.

    One of the orders was called Carmelites. Their name comes from Mount Carmel. This is the mountain
    in the Holy Land. The first Carmelites lived there. They wore a Brown Scapular to match their brown

    In the year 1251, the Scapular promise became known, “whosoever dies clothed in this (scapular)
    shall not suffer eternal death.” Soon, ordinary people wanted to wear the scapular also. They wanted
    to be under Mary’s special protection. So a smaller scapular was made, like the one we have today. It
    could be worn under one’s regular clothes (or it may be worn on the outside).


  • Must the scapular be blessed before wearing it? Only the first one. Your first scapular should be
    blessed and placed on you by a priest.

  • Is the scapular medal the same thing as the cloth scapular? Not exactly. The medal was invented for
    missionary priest and people living in tropical counties. Most people in a country like the United States
    should be able to wear the cloth scapular.

  • Is it OK to stop wearing the scapular? Of course, but you would not receive the benefits promised by
    Our Lady. We may take it off to bath, or if there is some important reason to take it off for a short while.
    But we should never take it off because we are ashamed.

  • What do I do if my scapular breaks or wears out? Your scapular is a sacramental or holy object.
    Worn out scapulars should be burned or buried in the ground, rather than thrown out in the trash. This
    is to show our respect for things used for God’s service.

    Keep in mind that the scapular is not an excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life –
    nor is it 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 supersitution. Supersitution is trying to get God to do what you want. Religion
    is trying to get yourself to do what God wants.

    Blessed pope Gregory viii was buried wearing his brown scapular. When his tomb was opened 600
    years after his death, his brown scapular was found perfectly intact.

    Pope benedict IV, “Addressing the seminarians in Rome “Let all of you have a common language and
    a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel – the common armor, the Scapular of
    the Virgin of Carmel which you ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege and protection
    after death.
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