In 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock and provided him a brown scapular. She said, “This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.”1
The Church expanded this privilege to any member of the laity who were willing to be enrolled in to the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular and who wore the scapular constantly.1
The scapular is a tiny brown cloth necklace worn around the neck and under our clothes. Just wearing it is a silent prayer to Mother Mary saying we venerate her, love her and trust in her protection.1 The scapular is not magical. When we wear it, we are trusting ourselves to Mary and we are working towards holiness. That is why we will not incur damnation. No one who trusts themselves to Mary incurs damnation.b1
Our Lady has promised that anyone who has been enrolled in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular and who continues to wear the scapular all their life will receive the privilege of not suffering damnation.1
Further, those enrolled are affiliated with the Carmelite Order and partake in the merits of the Carmelite order.1
Unfortunately, the Sabbatine Privilege was discovered to be inauthentic and has not been approved by the Church.2
As per Our Lady, there are five requirements that must be met to receive the privilege1:
- You must be enrolled in the Confraternity. This ceremony can be conducted by any priest.
- You must wear the brown scapular continuously, over your head, under your clothes, with one square hanging in the middle of your chest and the other over your back.
- The scapular must must be 100% wool, brown3, square or rectangular in shape3. It must not be encased in plastic, or pinned / affixed to clothing. The scapular does not need to have pictures.
- You must observe chastity according to your state in life (marriage or single).
- You must observe one of the following:
- Recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin
- Observe all required fast days, along with abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays
- With the permission of the priest, say five decades of the Rosary.
- With the permission of the priest, complete some other good work.
The Carmelite Habit
The reason for the strictness regarding the design of the scapular is because it represents the habit worn by the members of the Carmelite order.
Just as they wear their habit, we must wear the scapular.
As such, you cannot replace the scapular with the scapular medal unless you are allergic to wool or are operating in a tropical climate.3
You can remove the scapular when you bathe and if your scapular is damaged, you can replace it without having to be reinvested.3
Priest: Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.
Respondent: And grant us Thy salvation.
Priest: Lord, hear my prayer.
Respondent: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
Respondent: And with your Spirit.
Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, sanctify by Thy power these scapulars, which for love of Thee and for love of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Thy servants will wear devoutly, so that through the intercession of the same Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and protected against the evil spirit, they persevere until death in Thy grace. Thou who livest and reignest world without end.
+ Amen +
(The priest sprinkles the scapular and the person being enrolled with Holy Water and invests the respondent with the following words.)
Priest: Receive this blessed scapular and beseech the Blessed Virgin that through Her merits, you may wear it without stain. May it defend you against all adversity and accompany you to eternal life.
+ Amen +
(After the investiture, the priest continues.)
Priest: I, by the power vested in me, admit you to participate in all the spiritual benefits obtained through the mercy of Jesus Christ by the Religious Order of Mount Carmel. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
+ Amen +
Priest: May God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and earth, bless you, He who has deigned to join you to the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel; we beseech Her to crush the head of the ancient serpent so that you may enter into possession of your eternal heritage through Christ our Lord.
Respondent: + Amen +
(The priest sprinkles the respondent with Holy Water. The ceremony is complete.)
It is recommended that the following prayer be recited daily.
O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (kiss the scapular as a sign of your consecration), 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 to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart.
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
+ Amen +
To say the Rosary, please click here.
[b1] “The Glories of Mary” by St. Alphonsus de Liguori