Blessing of sacramentals

Hi all.

I had my brown scapular and medal of St. Benedict blessed by a Salesian priest. There was no Carmelite/Benedictine around my area, so he was the only one I could go to. He only said a short two sentenced prayer: “Bless these sacramentals to make them holy and help the wearer be free from sin” or something like that.

My question is, is it still valid? I read on numerous websites that they need to be blessed by their respective orders with the proper rite of blessing. Since no such rite was used, does this mean I do not receive the full graces of the sacramentals?

Thanks, and God bless to all.

Who may invest people with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel?
According to the Rite for the Blessing and Enrollment in the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, approved by the Holy See in 1996, any priest or deacon has the faculties for blessing the scapular. A person given authority to act in the name of the order may receive people into the confraternity of the scapular. The official ritual provided by the Holy See makes no provision for someone other than a priest or deacon to bless the scapular.

Is it necessary to enroll people in the Scapular Confraternity for them to share in the spiritual benefits attached to the scapular?
No, those who wear the scapular out of devotion, practice the Order’s spirituality, yet who have no formal association to the Order share in a spiritual affiliation to the Carmelite Order. It gives them the assurances of the graces pertinent to this sacramental. Indiscriminate enrollment in the Scapular Confraternity or other such associations weakens the purpose and mission of those associations and should be avoided.

Ohh, I see. Does the same apply for the Medal of Saint Benedict? Or is a simple blessing also valid?

Also, what would be the use of enrollment and long blessing rites if they have the same effect as a short blessing? :slight_smile:

So, it’s unfortunate that your priest took the short route on blessing your medal. The formal blessing of Sacramentals is really powerful and inspiring and helps to make the wearer more fully understand whats happening and how to use said Sacramental. And as far as the Brown Scapular is concerned having it blessed and being enrolled in the Confraternity are two very different things even though they may imbue the same graces. The formal enrollment is, again, a very powerful ceremony that teaches the special duty of members. It’s so very very wonderful to be in The Confraternity of the Brown Scapular. Just wearing one is wonderful too but it’s like all things - degrees of grace. After my ceremony my priest said, “Welcone home,” as if he just new I was going to become a Discalced Carmelite some day. And he was right. Enrollment was that first step. So your priest, doing the short form, perhaps didn’t explain how you are now concentrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, did he? Maybe because you are not formally consecrated - I don’t know. But that consecration, along with the Scapular, remind us to always ask ourselves, “what would Our Lady do in this situation?” A powerful reminder indeed. So take that extra step if you are do inclined, even if its hard. Travel to the nearest Carmelite community and get enrolled. It will be like a pilgrimage and you will be filled with that much more grace in the end. Praise be to God.

All blessings to you my fellow pilgrim -


The blessing is an approval of the use and a prayer for it to help a person, and may be simple for objects like cross, crucifix, water, medals, and scapulars. The simple blessing does not enroll one in any confraternity, which has to be perused on its own. Enrollment involves offering regular prayers (at least) in addition to wearing the sacramental object.

Yes a simple blessing by a Priest of a sacramental is valid -even if it is only the sign of the cross!

However if you wish you may ask a Priest to do the special blessing for the St. Benedict medal for the medal.

For the brown scapular, you need to be enrolled in it. Any priest who can hear confessions can do this for you.

In the liturgical book “Book of Blessings” there is an “Order for the Blessing and Conferral of a Scapular”. (Chapter 46 in the USA edition of the book.)

It has a longer ceremony than the one described. The parts of it are: Introductory Rites, Reading of the Word of God, Intercessions, Prayer of Blessing, Conferral of the Scapular, Concluding Rite.

The introduction begins:
“1488 The blessing and conferral of a scapular should, if at all possible, be carried out in a communal celebration. Whenever the conferral is a way of receiving members of the faithful into a confraternity of a religious order or institute, this reception must be carried out by a member of that institute or else by a minister deputed by the competent authority of the institute.”

God bless you dear!!

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