Father John Higgins – Who doesn’t enjoy a good BBQ with friends? When I was asked to a young couple’s home for a Young Adult Ministry Home Mass and BBQ I packed my Mass kit and off I went. I arrived about 6:00 pm with a hearty appetite and was greeted by about 15 young people. Then the phone rang and everything changed. I had to drive about 10 miles to a hospital where there was an emergency call. I drove quickly, thinking that the nurse in charge of the ER, Anne, would be waiting for me. I knew her and her husband and children from the parish. When I walked in I could see paramedics at the foot of the only occupied gurney there, so I hurried and walked in. “Sorry, Fr. John, you’re too late. He’s gone.” Anne said, smiling.
She had a lot of compassion, but also understood that I’d come as fast as I could. They were removing wires from an older man. I noticed that he was wearing a Brown Scapular, one of the old cloth ones. I reached and said “He’s wearing an old fashioned Scapular”. When I touched it there was a beep from a monitor, then another. The nurse, Anne, said “What did you do?” I said “Nothing!” She and another nurse jumped to work, reconnecting wires and calling for help. The Paramedics stood with their jaws dropped. The patient opened his eyes and said (in an Irish accent) “Oh, good, Father. I’ve been waiting for you. I want to go to Confession.” I nearly fell over. I’d done nothing but seen and touched his Scapular.
The next thing I knew they were working on him. He didn’t get to go to Confession, but I gave him an emergency absolution as they worked. One of the Paramedics asked if I was OK and sat me in a chair. A couple of weeks later the man came to me for Confession and told me that the doctor couldn’t figure out what happened and had to tear up the Death Certificate he’d already started to fill out. The Paramedics had come to see him in the hospital and shown him their notes. At the bottom of the page they’d written the time and place of his death and then in big bold letters had added “BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE BY GOD”.
Saved from a Bullet
In France, the following was reported: As the town of Montpellier was in a state of siege, in 1622, there occurred a miracle in the sight of the entire army and under the eyes of the King of France, Louis XIII. In a general assault, one of his officers, Champrond De Beauregard, received a bullet wound in the chest. The wound should have been fatal, but the bullet, after piercing the clothing, flattened out against the Scapular, without doing the least bit of harm to the officer. Astonished by the miracle, the officer told all that were around him.
Those who surrounded him, witnesses to this wonder, spread it through the army from rank to rank. Eventually news of the miracle reached the monarch’s ear. Louis XIII came forward to see this wonder that had been brought to his attention. He examined the facts very carefully, and after having convinced himself with his own eyes of the reality of the wonder, he wanted to dress himself in this heavenly armor, to receive the Scapular from the hands of the Carmelites and be enrolled as one of the members of the Confraternity.
Saved from Lightning
On August 27th, 1602 Barthelemi Lopez, a Spanish soldier, on duty in the Castle of Saint Elme, in Naples, was saying prayers in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel whose Scapular he was wearing, when all of a sudden lightning and thunder exploded above his head.
The lightning bolt hit his shoulder, and without making any sort of injury, left on his shoulder the print of a cross — as a sign of salvation which demonstrates that it was to a special help from Heaven that he owed the favor of having been preserved from the terrible effects of the lightning.
Food Provided in Time of Famine
In the Fourteenth Century, Spain faced a deadly famine due to a shortage of all sorts of grains. A general procession was ordered, and in the area of Spain in which the Holy Scapular was triumphantly shown, immediately abundance returned and brought joy and consolation to the hearts of all. In the 16th Century, in Sicily, a drought occurred like that which happened in the days of Elias the prophet. The people appealed to Our Lady, and the Brown Scapular was offered everywhere in the streets for veneration by the people; suddenly the sky opened, the rain came, and soon the people had their lofts full with abundance.
Protection Against the Devil
In 2005, a priest was giving a talk about the growth of satanic worship in the world and how adults and young children are becoming possessed by the devil because of the use of things such as the ouija board, saying the incantations that open the door to the demonic in “children’s books” such as the Harry Potter series, and going to fortune tellers, etc. When someone asked the priest how to protect oneself from the demonic, besides the obvious path of avoiding things that call upon satan, the priest answered, “Wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for protection from curses and the devil”.
One can understand why the devil works against those who promote the Scapular after hearing the story of Venerable 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.