The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a sacramental of the Roman Catholic church that was given to us between the 12th – 13th century by the Blessed Virgin Mary Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The Brown Scapular is a sign of God’s love for us and prepares us to receive God’s grace and to cooperate with it. You should kiss the Brown Scapular often to receive a partial indulgence given by Pope Paul the VI.
The Brown Scapular originated with the prophet Elijah who lived in the year 860 BC. Elijah, along with a group of consecrated holy men lived as Hermits on Mt. Carmel, in Palestine, the Holy Land.
These men lived all together in a Community and adopted a life of prayer and penance. Many years later the Hermits became known as Carmelites, a religious order made up of Friars, Nuns, and Lay Carmelites (ordinary people). Today, most Carmelites are living a monastic lifestyle sheltered from the outside world.
The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Simon Stock, the Prior General of the Carmelite order saying whoever dies wearing this Scapular will be protected, and she will help them secure eternal life.
The Value and Meaning of the Scapular
It stands for a commitment to follow Jesus, like Mary, the perfect model of all disciples of Christ. This commitment finds its origin in baptism by which we become children of God.
- It leads us into the Community of Carmel. And once enrolled, we benefit from their prayers and sacrifices.
- It is a sign of our faith that we will meet God in everlasting life, assisted by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- People are enrolled in the Scapular only once, by a priest or a deacon.
- The Scapular keeps us close with living as genuine Christians in accordance with church teachings, to be open to receive the sacraments, to profess our special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, which should be expressed each day by reciting the Holy Rosary.
- The Scapular is a holy gift and must be burned or buried if it becomes torn.
- Once a Scapular is blessed, the blessing extends to a new Scapular.
- Scapulars can be given to non-catholics, but they should say one Hail Mary a day.
- Pope Paul the VI granted a partial indulgence for kissing the Brown Scapular often.
- The Brown Scapular is a sacramental that prepares us to receive God’s grace and to cooperate with it.