Saturday 3 December 2011

Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The most widely favoured of all scapulars, and the most familiar, is that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the 16th of July is the feast day of scapular.

The Scapular was presented by Our Lady herself to Saint Simon Stock on 16th July 1251 at Cambridge, who appeared to him with the scapular in her hand in answer to his fervent prayers for help for his Order. The Blessed Virgin spoke to Saint Simon Stock in these words:

"Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy Order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace. Whoever dies in this garment will not suffer everlasting fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in all dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant."

The familiar small scapular may possibly have been worn in the latter half of the 13th century, but the weight of available evidence indicates that it did not come into existence until much later. At any rate at the beginning of the seventeenth century it was most extensively worn in all European countries.

The formula of the blessing o the scapular was published in the 'Giardino Carmeliatano' at Palermo in 1600, and it is of interest to note that the formula for the Sisters contains no reference to teh scapular, whereas there is a special blessing in the case of the Brothers. The privileges and graces promised so unequivocally by Our Blessed Mother, and espeically the Sabbatine Privilege that Mary's help will continue after death, and will be espeically effective on Saturday are indeed a precious gift, and a depthless spring of hope and consolation for the members of the confraternity, who fulfil the conditions imposed in order to earn them.

The scapular is in two segments of brown willen cloth, but black may also be used. On one side is the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, although strictly this is not required.

Queen and flower of Carmel, pray for us!