Are you wearing your scapular today? July 16 is celebrated by Catholics world-wide as the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In the middle of the 13th century, our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Simon Stock of the Carmelite religious order, holding a brown scapular in her hand saying that anyone who dies wearing the scapular will not feel the eternal fires. It is a symbol of the wearer’s consecration to our Blessed Mother.
A scapluar was a type of apron worn by monks consisting of two large pieces of fabric that hung in the front and back and were connected to each other by strips of fabric over the shoulder. It is also said that the brown scapular represents the Virgin Mary’s robes.
Although some believe that wearing a brown scapular is an easy way to Heaven, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. “For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God.” 176 (1128, 2001)”
For more information about the meaning of the brown scapular, check out Connie Rossini’s blog, Conplemplative Homeschool.