Our Lady's Brown Scapular
Sign of Consecration to Mary "This most extraordinary gift of the Scapular - from the Mother of God to Saint Simon Stock - brings its great usefulness not only to the Carmelite Family of Mary, but also to all the rest of the faithful who wish, affiliated to that Family, to follow Mary with a special devotion." (Pius IX)
"Whoever dies wearing this Scapular, shall not suffer eternal flames," the Blessed Virgin told Saint Simon. That was the "first part" of her promise - preservation from hell. The necessary conditions for obtaining this benefit are:
1) To be enrolled by an authorized priest. 2) To wear it devoutly day and night over the shoulders, (the cords may be lengthened or shortened, and may be of any material or color.)
The Scapular is not a "lucky charm." It would be rash to presume that just because we wear the Scapular, we will be saved. It is, rather, a sign of consecration to Our Lady, and if we die practicing this consecration, we can be sure of great help from the Blessed Virgin. Authorities have noted that an habitual sinner will not persevere in sin wearing the Scapular.
The Scapular is a habit...Our Lady's habit. She appeared in it to St. Simon Stock, holding the Scapular in Her hand even as She was wearing it (full size) on Her person. She appeared thus again in 1917, at Fatima, where She promised the conversion of Russia. And we recall the words of St. Dominic spoken over seven hundred years ago in prophecy: "One day, by the Rosary and Scapular, She will save the world." When we wear the Scapular we are wearing a garment which was woven on the looms of Heaven and brought to earth by Our Lady Herself, in Her own hands. When we wear the Scapular we wear what Our Lady Herself was wearing when She made the promise...and when She appeared in the final vision of Fatima. It may well be that in this Habit She will come to us at the hour of death to keep her Scapular Promise. The Scapular is essentially a religious habit.
In 1960 Pope Pius XII wrote the now famous words concerning the Scapular: "Let it be your sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which we are particularly urging in these perilous times." And in 1950, Sister Lucia was asked why Our Lady held the Scapular in Her hands in the final vision at Fatima, and she answered: "Because she wants everyone to wear the Scapular." When the question about the insistence on the Scapular was raised in France, some years ago, it was the Bishop of Fatima himself who gave the answer: "It was right to choose the brown Scapular of Mount Carmel - and no other - as the sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
The Bishop explained, as Lucia has done, that while Our Lady at Fatima did not actually mention the Scapular, She did require consecration to her Immaculate Heart, and She did hold the Scapular in Her hands in the final vision of Fatima. Many Saints, Popes and theologians have strongly declared their acceptance of the Scapular Devotion, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Peter Claver, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Vianney, St. John Bosco, Popes Gregory X, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII.
Pope Benedict XIV, writing as a private theologian before his election wrote: "Let no one ever dare to reject the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which the Roman Pontiffs have enriched with so many and such great indulgences, for, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, God has worked many miracles for the advantage of those who practice this devotion." Two condition of the devotion are unchangeable, namely to wear the Scapular and to observe chastity in our state of life. The usual prayers are the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be, etc, seven times each day, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary.
Pope Benedict XI, in addressing the Seminarians of Rome: "......the Scapular of Mary enjoys the singular privilege of protection after death." We remain Her children after death and Our Lady assists with early release from Purgatory.
We must wear the Scapular with the same disposition, striving to love and reverence Mary and doing our best to keep sin out of our lives. If we do this we can be sure that we are wearing it in the right spirit. As a matter of fact, if anyone has no real desire to avoid sin, then that person would not bother to wear the Scapular faithfully and perseveringly. The Scapular is no magic talisman - we shall still be tempted when we wear it - but Our Lady has promised us the final victory over sin if we are faithful to it.
THE SCAPULAR MAKES YOU MARY'S CHILD!