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The Carmelite Order - II

The Brown Scapular & Promise of Salvation

Elaine Jordan
In 1245, St. Simon Stock was elected Superior General of the Carmelite Order. Despite the many favors from Heaven and the protection of Pope Honorius III, as seen in the last article, opposition against the Carmelite Order continued.

protection carmelites

Our Lady protects her Carmelites

Persecutions against the sons of Carmel intensified on various fronts. The afflicted General, seeing the difficulties surmounting, was convinced that only through the intercession of Mary Most Holy would he find the assistance that he sought. He took refuge, therefore, in her efficacious protection.

In 1251, on the vespers of the solemn feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary Most Holy appeared to this great follower of Elias, bringing to him the Carmelite scapular. She wore the habit of the Carmelite Order, was surrounded by radiant stars, and carried her Divine Son in her arms.

Thus did the Mother of God grant yet another prodigious favor to the Carmelite Order, a favor given not only to its religious members, but also came to extend to all the faithful who wished to enroll themselves as members into the Carmelite Family with the pledge to fulfill the obligations related to the scapular in order to benefit from its privileges.

The Sabbatine privilege

In a letter addressed to his Carmelite brothers and spiritual sons, Saint Simon Stock described the vision he received:

st simon stock

Our Lady appears to St. Simon Stock

“While I poured out the sorrows of my soul in the presence of the Lord, I, nothing more than dust and ashes, nonetheless implored my Lady, the Virgin Mary, that since She so desired that we belong to her, She should show that She was our Mother – freeing us from the persecution and giving us some palpable sign of her special consideration and esteem for us, thus confounding those who persecute us.

“I addressed her, saying with tender sighs, ‘O Flower of Carmel, O flowering Vine! Splendor of Heaven, Virgin even after giving birth, o incomparable and admirable Mother and ever Virgin: Give the Carmelites the privilege of thy protection!’ At that moment, the Sovereign Lady appeared to me, escorted by numerous angelic hosts. In her hand she held the habit of the Order (the brown scapular).

“She said to me: ‘Receive, my dearly beloved son, this scapular of thy order, the symbol of my confraternity, and a privilege for you and for all Carmelites. Whosoever dies clothed in this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire… It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, a pledge of peace and our everlasting alliance.’”

With this sublime and powerful aid, St. Simon Stock had the joy of seeing the censure of his enemies convert to benevolence, and their disdain become admiration.

Under the wing of the Carmelite Order, the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel came to light for lay Catholics who, although unable to embrace the Carmelite rule, nonetheless desired to become part of the Carmelite Family and place themselves under the protection of the Holy Virgin.

The most noteworthy privilege granted to those who wear the Carmelite scapular consists of the famous Sabbatine privilege promised by Our Lady in an apparition to Pope John XXII for those who wear her brown scapular.

According to Pope John XXII, the Blessed Virgin gave him the following message: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend into Purgatory on the Saturday (Sabbath) after their death, and will deliver them into the heavenly mansions of life everlasting.”

This Sabbatine privilege was officially approved and promulgated by Pope John XXII in the Bull Sacratissimo uti culmine of March 3, 1322, and given definitive ratification in 1908 by the Holy See.

Conditions for the promise

The glorious Mother of Carmel has confirmed the immense graces of the brown scapular with many marvelous miracles, which have swept away the slightest doubt as to the veracity of the efficacy of the brown scapular.


The promise to release the soul from Purgatory the Saturday after his death

Nonetheless, it should be stressed that one cannot avoid eternal damnation by the mere wearing of the scapular. The faithful Catholic must fulfill the obligations of a Catholic life. But Catholics who wear the brown scapular, in addition to receiving the graces available to all the faithful, receive fortification from the special protection of the Mother of God so that they might attain their salvation.

To receive the Sabbatine privilege, one must daily recite the Little Office of the Virgin Mary, fast on Wednesdays and Saturdays and practice chastity in accordance with one’s state in life.

The first two practices may be substituted with the praying of the Rosary by a priest authorized to invest a person with the brown scapular, which is usually done right after the ceremony. The brown scapular must be oblong or square, and 100 percent wool. Cotton, silk and any other material is not permitted. It should hang over the shoulders with one side hanging in the front and the other side n the back, in imitation of the Carmelite religious.

Some persons have asked if a scapular medal can replace the brown wool scapular. St. Pius X and subsequent Popes have declared that in necessary cases, such as in tropical climate missions or for persons with allergies to brown wool, the scapular medal may be worn instead of the wool scapular. But if the scapular medal is worn for insufficient reason, such as vanity or convenience, the wearer runs the risk of not receiving the benefit of the Scapular promise.

A powerful incentive

For the modern day man, immersed in the agitation and chaos of daily life, living under the growing tide of neo-paganism and outright Satanism and subject to the most unexpected deaths, to wear the brown scapular is a safeguard to be freed from Purgatory on the Saturday after death and to obtain eternal salvation. These wonderful favors should be powerful incentives for conversion and the practice of the true Faith.

It was not by chance that in her last apparition to the three Portuguese shepherds in Fatima on October 13, 1917, Our Lady once again confirmed the graces she had granted to man, manifesting herself under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

saints and laymen

 Carmelites under Our Lady's special protection, a privilege shared with the laity

Posted July 26, 2019

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