brown scapula

hey while on vacation this past weekend, we were browsing the parish gift shop of a local church after having attened mass there. she bough my 3 brothers and i a brown scapula. she told us she knew what its for and she had some information on it but knowing her it from her childhood and not very coherent.

so what is the brown scapula and what is it for?
how is it used? is there a prayer for it and if so what is the prayer?

thank you.:shrug:

**Brown Scapular
Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel **
HistoryA scapular is a garment worn by religious over the shoulders (scapula), and hanging down in front and back, usually to about the bottom of the habit. It developed as a practical garment, protecting the habit during work, and was in time invested with spiritual significance, consecration or dedication to God.

     By analogy to the scapulars of religious, there are small scapulars that          are derived from them which represent a particular devotion or spirituality, usually          associated with a particular community. Such a scapular is two pieces of cloth (generally          about an inch square), connected by cords and worn over the head. It often has a picture          or a particular color, depending on the spirituality it stands for.

     The best known and most highly esteemed scapular, and the one most favored by the Church, and by the Blessed Virgin in many of her apparitions, is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It is adapted from the scapular of the Carmelite Order and represents a special Consecration to Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Those who wear it practice it a special devotion to Mary. In the past this was the Little Office of Our Lady, but today this can be commuted by any priest to the rosary. In addition, the person has a special entrustment of themselves to Mary for their salvation. This, in fact, has been promised to those who faithfully wear the scapular:  "Those who die wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire." This must **not** be understood superstitiously or magically, but           in light of  Catholic teaching that perseverance in faith,          hope and love are required for salvation. The scapular is a          powerful reminder of this Christian obligation and of Mary's          promise to help those consecrated to her obtain the grace of          final perseverance.

            Conferral with the scapular indicates a special                 devotion and consecration to Mary. No one should                 undertake it who is not spiritual prepared to live in                 accordance with it.

            The short form of investing or conferral consists of a                 priest or deacon taking a blessed scapular and while                 placing it over their head reciting with the person any Marian prayer                 (e.g. Hail Mary, Memorare, Salve Regina). The person is now                 invested. They don't have any lists to join, though they are henceforth members                 of the Scapular Confraternity and share in its spiritual                 benefits (the prayers of the members). No special daily                 practices are obliged, though someone consecrated to                 Mary, of which the scapular is THE sign, should live                 chastity according to their state and recite the rosary                 daily.

            There is also a long form in the *Book of Blessings**,***                 chapter 46, which is very fitting for group                 investments. Every parish should have this ritual book.

            For some years the Carmelite Order had permission from                 Rome to grant laity the Indult to enroll people. This                 permission is no longer given, but  those                 who received the Indult in the past still have it. So,                 while laity may not bless a scapular, there are some lay                 people who can invest others, with a scapular previously                 blessed by a priest or deacon.

            One final note, investing MUST be done with the cloth                 scapular. Those who wish to wear the medal  can do so after                 investment. The scapular blessing attaches to each                 subsequent scapular. A new blessing is NOT required. This                 is not true of the medal, each of which must be blessed                 by a priest or deacon.


It is a sacramental.

You can be enrolled into the Brown Scapular by any priest, any time after having received your First Holy Communion. The prayers are available on line, if the one you bought didn’t come with instructions. (People who have not yet received First Holy Communion should wear the Green Scapular, instead, according to our associate pastor. This is what he recommends to RCIA participants.)

There are also other devotions that go along with it, such as abstinence from meat on Wednesdays and praying either the Rosary or the Little Office of the Virgin Mary every day.

Here is a link to enrollment in the Brown Scapular devotion and I commend you for asking about this important item. It is properly worn only following enrollment and there are very specific practices and promises which you should understand before doing so.

God bless you!

Kelly - all the information you could want on the Brown Scapular.

I assume you’re referring to a brown scapular? If that’s the case, it’s a Carmelite devotion that started in the 13th century, spread to other religious orders and eventually to laypeople.

Here’s some basic information on it:

There’s some more detailed information here:

Most of the benefits from the brown scapular come from having it blessed and being enrolled in it. Both are done in the same little ceremony, which only takes a few minutes and can be done by any priest or deacon. When I wanted to get enrolled, I found the rite for the enrollment in and blessing of the brown scapular, took it to my Chaplain, and he did it pretty quickly in his office. If you’re interested in this, here’s a link to the rite:

There’s the longer rite and also the short one after it on this site (my priest used the shorter one for me :slight_smile: ).

I hope this is enough information. I think the brown scapular is a wonderful devotion to follow :slight_smile: . There’s also a nice morning offering prayer that I pray with mine - here it is:

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

I cannot recommend more highly that you, and other readers here, should read the following:

[size=]The Brown Scapular[/size]
by Fr. William Most

It is probably the best explanation piece I have ever read for understanding the Scapular from a theological and historical perspective.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


thanks all!

Here are two very good sites for information on the Brown Scapular:

Peace be with you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit