Saint Claude de la Colombiere, the renowned Jesuit and spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary,
gives a point that is enlightening. He said,
“Because all the forms of our love for the Blessed Virgin and all its various modes of
expression cannot be equally pleasing to Her, and therefore do not assist us in the same
degree to reach Heaven, I say, without a moment’s hesitation, that the BROWN SCAPULAR IS
THE MOST FAVORED OF ALL!” He also adds, “No devotion has been confirmed by more
numerous authentic miracles than the Brown Scapular.”
True Stories: Our Blessed Lady keeps Her Promise
A priest relates how one day in a town near Chicago he was called to the bedside of a man
who had been away form the Sacrament for many years. “The man did not want to see me: he
would not talk. Then I asked him to look at the little Scapular I was holding. ‘Will you wear this if
I put this on you?’ I ask nothing more. He agreed to wear it and within the hour he wanted to go
to confession and make his peace with God. This did not surprise me, because for 700 years
Our Lady has been working in this way through Her Scapular.”
On the very day Our Lady gave the Scapular to St. Simon, he was hurriedly called by Lord Peter
of Linton: “Come quickly, Father, my brother is dying in despair!” St. Simon left at once for the
bedside of the dying man. Upon arrival he placed his large Scapular over the dying man,
asking Our Blessed Mother to keep Her promise. Immediately the man repented, and died in
the grace and friendship of God. That night the dead man appeared to his brother and said, “I
have been saved through the most powerful Queen and the Habit of that man as a shield.”
St. Alphonsus tell us: “Modern heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular, they decry it
as so much trifling nonsense.” Yet many of the popes have approved and recommended it. It
is remarkable that only 25 years after the Scapular vision, Blessed Pope Gregory X was buried
wearing the Scapular, when his tomb was opened 600 years after his death, his Scapular was
found intact. It can be seen, perfectly preserved in the Arezzo museum, in Italy.
Protection against the Devil
You will understand why the Devil works against those who promote the Scapular when you
hear the story of Ven. Francis Ypes. One day his Scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the devil
howled, “Take off the habit which snatches so many souls from us!” Then and there Francis
made the devil admit that there are three things which the demons are most afraid of: the Holy
Name of Jesus, the Holy Name of Mary, and the Holy Scapular of Carmel. To that list we could
add the Holy Rosary.
The great St.Peter Claver was another of God’s heroes who used the Scapular to good
advantage. Every month a shipment of 1000 slaves would arrive at Cartegena, Colombia,
South America. St. Peter used to insure the salvation of his converts. First, he organized
catechists to give them instructions. Then, he saw to it that they were baptized and clothed with
the Scapular. Some ecclesiastics’ accused the Saint of indiscreet zeal, but St. Peter was
confident that Mary would watch over each of his more than 300,000 converts!
Our Lady Protects a Missionary
One day in 1944, a Carmelite missionary in the Holy Land was called to an internment camp in
order to give the Last Rites. The Arab driver made the priest get off the bus four miles from the
camp because the road was dangerously muddy. After two miles, the missionary found his
feet sinking deeper and deeper into the mire. Trying to get solid footing he slipped into a
muddy pool. Sinking to his death in this desolate place, he thought of Our Lady and Her
Scapular. He kissed his great Scapular -- for he was wearing the full habit -- and looked
toward the holy mountain of Carmel, the birthplace of devotion to God’s Mother. He cried out,
“Holy Mother of Carmel! Help me! Save me!” A moment later, he found himself on solid ground.
Later he said, “I know I was saved by the Blessed Virgin through Her Brown Scapular. My
shoes were lost in the mud, and I was covered with it, but I walked the remaining two miles
Saved from the Sea
Another Scapular story that bears repeating took place in 1845. In the late summer of that year,
the English ship, “king of the Ocean” found itself in the middle of a wild hurricane. As wind and
sea mercilessly lashed the ship, a Protestant minister, together with his wife and children and
other passengers, struggled to the deck to pray for forgiveness and mercy, as the end seemed
at hand. Among the crew was a young Irishman, John McAuliffe. On seeing the urgency of the
situation, the youth opened his shirt took off his Scapular, and, making the sign of the Cross
with it over the raging waves tossed it into the ocean. At that very moment, the wind calmed.
Only one more wave washed the deck, bringing with it the Scapular, which came to rest at the
boy’s feet. All the while the minister, a Mr. Fisher, had been carefully observing McAuliffe’s
actions and the miraculous effect of those actions. Upon questioning the young man, they
were told about the Holy Virgin and Her Scapular. Mr. Fisher and his family were so impressed
that they were determined to enter the Catholic Church as soon as possible, and thereby enjoy
the same protection of Our Lady’s Scapular.
A Home Saved from Fire
In May of 1957, a Carmelite priest in Germany published the unusual story of how the Scapular
saved a home from fire. An entire row of homes had caught fire in Westboden, Germany. The
pious inhabitants of a 2-family home, seeing the fire, immediately fastened a Scapular to the
main door of the house. Sparks flew over it and around it, but the house remained unharmed.
Within 5 hours, 22 homes had been reduced to ashes. The one structure, which stood
undamaged amidst the destruction, was that which had the Scapular attached to its door. The
hundreds of people who came to see the place Our lady had saved are eye-witnesses to the
power of the Scapular and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A Train Accident
One of the most extraordinary of all Scapular incidents took place right here in the United
States. It happened around the turn of the century in the town of Ashtabula, Ohio, that a man
was cut in two but a train; he was wearing the Scapular. Instead of dying instantly, as would be
expected he remained alive and conscious for 45 minutes -- just enough time until a priest
could arrive to administer the Last Sacraments. These, and other such incidents, tell us that
Our Blessed Mother will take personal care of us in the hour of our death. So great and
powerful a Mother is Mary that She will never fail to keep the Scapular contract, i.e. to see that
we die in God’s grace.
A Priest’s Life is Saved
Still another Scapular miracle concerns a French priest who had gone on pilgrimage. On the
way to say Mass, he remembered that he had forgotten his Scapular. He knew he would be
late if he went back to retrieve it, but he could not envision offering Mass at Our Lady’s altar
without Her Scapular. Later, as he was offering the Holy Sacrifice, a young man approached
the altar, pulled out a gun, and shot the priest in the back. To the amazement of all, the priest
continued to say the prayers of the Mass as though nothing had occurred. It was at first
presumed that the bullet had miraculously missed its target. However, upon examination, the
bullet was found ADHERING TO THE LITTLE BROWN SCAPULAR, which the priest had so
obstinately refused to be without.
We should even give the Scapular to non-Catholics for Our Lady will bring conversions to
those who will wear it and say one Hail Mary each day, as the following true story will show. An
old man was rushed to the St. Simon Stock Hospital in New York City, unconscious and dying.
The nurse, seeing the Brown Scapular on the patient, called a priest. As the prayers were
being said for the dying man, he became conscious and spoke up: “Father, I am not a
Catholic.” Then why are you wearing the Brown Scapular?” asked the priest. “I promised my
friends to wear it,” the patient explained, ” and also to say one Hail Mary a day.” “You are dying”
the priest told him. “Do you want to become a Catholic?” “All my life I wanted to be one.” the
dying man replied. He was baptized, received the Last Rites, and died in peace. Our Lady took
another soul under Her mantle through the Scapular!
A Call to Fervor
In October of 1952, an Air Force officer in Texas wrote the following: “Six months ago, shortly
after I started wearing the Scapular, I experienced a remarkable change in my life. Almost at
once, I started going to mass every day. After a short time, I started receiving Holy Communion
daily. I kept lent with a fervor that I had never experience before. I was introduced to the practice
of meditation, and found myself making feeble attempts on the way to perfection. I have been
trying to live with God. I credit Mary’s Scapular.”
Necessity of Wearing the Scapular
During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s, seven Communists were sentenced to death
because of their crimes. A Carmelite priest tries to prepare the men for death; they refused. As
a last resort, he brought the men cigarettes food and wine, assuring them that he would not
talk religion, in a short while they were all friendly, so he asked them for one small favor: “Will
you permit me to place a Scapular on each of you?” six agreed, one refused. Soon all Scapular
wearers went to confession. The seventh continues to refuse. Only to please them he put on
the Scapular, he would do nothing more. Morning came, and as the time of the execution came
near, the seventh man made it clear that he was not going to ask for a priest. Although wearing
the Scapular he was determined to go to his death an enemy of God. Finally, the command
was given, the firing squad did its deadly work, and seven lifeless bodies lay sprawled in the
dust. Mysteriously a Scapular was found approximately 50 paces from the bodies. Six men
died WITH Mary’s Scapular; the seventh died Without the Scapular. St. Claude gives us the
solution to the mystery of the missing Scapular: “You ask; what if I desire to die in my sins?” I
answer, “Then you will die in your sins but YOU WILL NOT DIE IN YOUR SCAPULAR.” St.
Claude tells the story of a man who tried to drown himself three times. He was rescued
against his will. At last he realized that he was wearing his Scapular. Determined to take his
life, he tore the Scapular from his neck and leaped into the water. Without Mary’s protective
garment he accomplished his wish and died in his sins.
A Jesuit missionary in Guatemala tells an incident of Our Lady’s Scapular protection. In
November of 1955 a plane carrying 27 passengers crashed. All died except one young lady.
When this girl saw that the plane was going down, she took hold of her Scapular, and called
on Mary for help. She suffered burns, her clothing was reduced to ashes, but the flames did
not touch her Scapular.
In the same year of 1955, a similar miracle occurred in the Midwest. A 3rd-grader stopped in a
gasoline station to put air in his bicycle tires, and at that very moment an explosion occurred.
The boy’s clothing was burned off, but his Brown Scapular remained unaffected: a symbol of
Mary’s protection. Today, although he still bears a few scars from the explosion, this young
man has special reason to remember the Blessed Mother’s protection in time of danger.
The Scapular that Saved Two Lives
My battalion was a member of the Irene Brigade. We were just about to advance. After we
passed Eindhofen, our trucks and tanks went through Uden. In the evening we encamped on
an old farm near Nijmegen. Behind the house there was an old wooden pump surrounded by
bricks, to wash away the sweat and dust of hours of fighting. You can well imagine that we
made good use of this opportunity. I was one in the group and so I tossed my jacket on the
ground and hung my Scapular on the pump while I washed.
An hour later we received orders to proceed about a mile and a half further and to occupy a
trench there. We were looking forward to being able to get a peaceful night’s sleep in that
trench. I was about to lie down and was unbuttoning my collar when to my horror I realized that
I no longer had my Scapular. It had been a gift from my mother. I had it with me all during the
war and now that we were approaching the lion’s den was I to be deprived of it? To go fetch it
was unthinkable, so I tried not to think about it any more and to go to sleep. I pitched and
tossed from side to side, but I couldn’t get to sleep.
All round me, my buddies were sleeping like logs even though from time to time shells fell
dangerously close. Finally I was overcome by the desire to get my Scapular back and I crept
out among my sleeping companions. It wasn’t so easy to get past the sentry but I managed to
do it and ran back the way we had come. It was pitch dark, but nevertheless I had good luck
and in a short time I was back on the farm and at the pump. My hands glided searchingly all
over the pump but the Scapular was gone. I was just about to strike a match when there was
the sound of a dreadful explosion. What was I to do? Was that the sign of an enemy attack? As
fast as I could I ran back to our trench. Maybe I could do something for my buddies there.
Near the trench I saw the engineers busily removing piles of dirt and barbed wire. At the very
spot where my companions had been sleeping there yawned a gigantic shell-hole. Before the
enemy had vacated this trench the enemy had placed a time bomb in it and it had exploded
during my absence. Nobody survived the explosion. If I had not set out to fetch my Scapular, I
would have been buried under that rubble too.
On the following morning I went to the field kitchen and met a buddy there. He looked at me
with astonishment. “I thought you were in that trench!” “And I thought you were buried there!”
My friend continued, “I was lying in the trench, but before I went to sleep I went looking for you.
But I couldn’t find you. The corporal saw me hunting around and asked me what I wanted.
When I told him what I was doing there he said, “Be sensible! Instead go to that inn nearby and
get me a bottle of water.” And while I was on the errand the explosion occurred.
“Well, I escaped it by a hair’s breadth too, “I replied. “But why on earth were you looking for me
so late at night?” “To give you this,“ he replied, and handed me my Scapular, which he had
taken from the old pump.
A Shield in Time of Battle
Mr. Sisto Mosco of North Providence, Rhode Island, is a veteran of World War II, who survived,
unscathed, the invasion of Normandy, and later, the 7th fleet war with the Japanese fleet, the
taking of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and other bloody battles in the South Pacific. Sisto affirms that
his miraculous escape is another perfect example of the powerful protection of Our Blessed
Mother of Mount Carmel, through Her Brown Scapular.
“I was on the battleship the U.S.S. Nevada as chaplain’s yeoman during WW II in the Pacific. (I
always wore my Scapular because I was brought up close to the Church, and I kept it on me all
through the war.) The ship was loaded with dynamite. A suicide plane hit the deck real close to
where I was positioned. The blast blew open the bolted steel doors of the compartment. I
alone was left uninjured after the explosion. The rest were all dead or seriously mangled. I
was the only one untouched and I attribute it to the wearing of my Scapular.”
Mr. Mosco later received a commendation from the Admiral of the fleet for bravery, but in his
heart he firmly believes that the credit goes to Our Lady, the Virgin most powerful, who works
such wonders through Her Habit of Salvation.
In wearing the Scapular at all times we make silent petition for the Blessed Mother’s continual
assistance. We share in all the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Scapular
Confraternity throughout the world. Pope Pius XII often spoke of the Scapular. On the 700th
anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady to St. Simon Stock, Pope Pius XII referred to the
Scapular as “the sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. The Scapular also
represents the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ, which Mary helps us to bear. And finally, the pope
continued, the Scapular marks us as one of Mary’s chosen children, and becomes for us (as
the Germans call it) a “Garment of Grace”. St. Claude tells us, “Of all the pious practices which
have inspired the faithful to honor the Mother of God, there is none so sure as that of the
Scapular. No other devotion has been confirmed by so many and such extraordinary miracles.”
As we mentioned above, during the Scapular Anniversary celebration in Rome in 1951, Pope
Pius XII told a very large audience to wear the Brown Scapular as a sign of consecration to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady asked for this consecration in the last apparition at
Fatima, when She appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding the Brown Scapular out to
the whole world. It was Her last moving appeal to souls to wear Her Scapular as a sign of
consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.
A Brief Summary
The Scapular is a habit -- Our Lady’s habit. The Scapular must be worn over the shoulders in
such a manner that one part hangs in front of the body and the other at the back. Worn in any
other way, it carries no indulgence or promise. It is not necessary to wear the Scapular next to
the skin. Many Catholics may not know it is the wish of the Holy Father the Pope, that the
Scapular Medal should not be worn in place of the Cloth Scapular without sufficient reason.
Mary cannot be pleased with anyone who substitutes the medal out of vanity, or out of fear of
making open profession of faith. Such persons run the risk of not receiving the Promise. The
medal has never been noted for any of the miraculous preservations attributed to the Brown
May a non-Catholic wear the Brown Scapular?
Yes, and in doing so a non-catholic will receive many graces and blessings with this special
sign of devotion to the Blessed Mother of God. Although baptized Catholics are the only ones
who can be officially enrolled in the Confraternity and enjoy the special Scapular privileges,
non-Catholics are warmly encouraged to avail themselves of this special way of honoring
Jesus’ Mother. By wearing the Scapular we are dedicated to Our Blessed Mother in a special
way and have a strong claim upon Her protection and intercession.
|"Whosoever dies wearing
this scapular shall not suffer
- Promise of Our Lady made July
16, 1251 to St. Simon Stock
|The Brown Scapular
Who is Our Lady of Mt Carmel?
|POPE JOHN PAUL II
|Our Lady of Mt Carmel
Feast Day: July 16