“Those who die wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.

Do you wear a brown scapular?  If not, then you must get one!

In 1251 Simon Stock was the superior general of the Carmelites. This religious order had been undergoing persecution, and he had been praying for some time to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Patroness of the order, for help and protection. In answer to his prayer, Our Lady appeared to him on July 16, 1251, holding in her hand a garment called a scapular, a word which comes from the Latin word scapula, for shoulder. To Simon Stock, who is now a canonized saint, the Blessed Virgin said: “Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy Order as a badge of my confraternity, and for thee and for all Carmelites, a sign of grace. Whoever dies in this garment will not suffer everlasting fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.”

The garment Our Lady gave St. Simon Stock was the size that the members of our religious congregation wear as part of our habit, reaching from the shoulders down nearly to the feet. The Catholic Church has since reduced the size of the scapular, as most of you know, to a very small size so that everyone can easily wear it over their shoulders under their clothing. But, as this promise was made only to the members of St. Simon Stock’s order, how can we, who are not Carmelites, receive the fulfilment of this promise? We can have a priest enrol us in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular.

In 1845 an English ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean was on the point of being sunk by a hurricane. A young Irishman on board, upon seeing the danger the ship was in, took off his Brown Scapular and threw it into the huge waves. Immediately the wind ceased and the waves became calm. Another wave washed the Brown Scapular back onto the deck. A Protestant minister and his wife who were present asked the young man what it was that he threw into the ocean. This was the beginning of their conversion to the Catholic Faith.