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
…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).
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
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