Brown Scapular - Carmelites


My personal desire to make a devotion to Our Lady was inspired by the visions at Fatima to Lúcia Santos 13 Oct 1917. On this day 70K people witnessed the miracle of the sun, Our Lady appeared to Lucia as Lady of Mount Carmel with the rosary and brown scapula and gave instructions to Lucia. The scapular is a sign of consecration of Our Lady and path to Christ, it reminds us to clothe ourselves with virtue, She will protect the wearer if conditions are met re daily Marion devotion. The brown mantle is symbolic, the prophet Elias left his mantle as a prophetic spirit when the fiery chariot took him to heaven. On Mount Carmel he prepared for the coming of the Saviour and His Mother who would crush the serpent’s head with Her foot. I asked my priest if he would enroll me and bless my miniature brown scapula and he referred me to the Carmelite Brown Scapular Confraternity, on research I was most troubled by their agenda of serving the Carmelite communit and not a devotion to Our Lady. See YT (The Carmelite Brown Scapula). The Carmelites debunk Simon Stock and ignore Lucia’s vision. . Given how profound the Fatima 3rd secret was and all the Vatican crimes and current revelations I think I may just have a private covenant with Our Lady and wear my miniature brown scapular anyway. Question: Are all First Holy Communion children automatically enrolled, if yes I am ok.


No, all First Communicants are not automatically enrolled. In decades past it used to be a practice to just enroll entire classes of First Communicants, but this led to a lot of people being enrolled without actually practicing the devotion and so it’s not done now.

I note that the Brown Scapular is a Carmelite devotion. it is intended to represent the Carmelite habit, so you’re basically wearing a Carmelite habit by putting it on. It’s therefore a bit odd if you want to practice the devotion while rejecting the Carmelites, as part of the devotion is that you are supposed to practice Carmelite spirituality.

With respect to St. Simon Stock, there is historical uncertainty whether he actually received the Scapular in a vision because this vision was not described by anyone until 100 years after he had passed away.

However, if you really have a problem with enrolling, you can get spiritual benefits by simply wearing the Scapular without being enrolled, as described in the official Scapular Catechesis here.



More than anything, the Brown Scapular is a participation in Carmelite spirituality for those attracted to it. Not because of some alleged vision or some alleged promise. It is, first of all, a sharing in the spiritual wealth of the Carmelite family. This is why we wear it, because it is a Carmelite garment, albeit abbreviated. If one wears it without considering the underlying Carmelite spirituality, one is abusing it.


Odd indeed! :thinking:


But it’s the CARMELITE brown scapular, of course they serve the Carmelite community.

We don’t “debunk.” The Carmelite Order acknowledges historical fact, which is that there is legitimate doubt about the story of St. Simon receiving the scapular from Our Lady. And the scapular devotion was established long before Lucia’s vision; there is no need to incorporate her into the devotion.


Thank you for taking time to reply, yes I am aware the miniature brown scapular is a symbol of the habit owned by the Carmelites however are most non-vocation Catholics wearing the brown scapular aware that the Carmelites reject the very basis that underpins their pledge as a devotion to Our Lady.
The Carmelite speaker in the video clearly states that Simon man of Kent, who reported receiving the scapula from Our Lady and lived in a tree trunk, and St Simon Stock are 2 people that morphed into one and legend. How do you answer to the fact that Carmelite Nuns produce and sell many thousands of brown scapulas every year with embroidered script “ Who so ever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire” This is the tradition from 1251 relating to St Simon Stock, scapulas depict Simon with Our Lady of Mt Carmel receiving the scapular. If the Carmelite Confraternity don’t want us non members to use their icons then please stop expoiting us.

Sorry if I have ruffled the members feathers but anti trust issues here. I will inform my kindred souls on social media of this unfaithfulness.
I note that one individual posted an emogi Odd indeed! with its tongue out at me…. How childish indeed!


Thank you, the link is an interesting read.


One’s intension to make a pledge of devotion to Our Lady using a physical reminder of a small wool icon really cannot be framed as abuse because they are not party to the Carmelite family. Catholics should be one family and inclusive.


It’s actually the OP who is not being “inclusive” by rejecting the Carmelites.

I note that if the OP just wants to be close to Mary and use a sacramental to help in that, there are dozens of sacramentals they could use without picking the one that’s supposed to represent the habit of a particular order that the OP doesn’t really like. The Brown Scapular is very specifically Carmelite.


Ouch! I never stated I did not like the Carmelite Order.
You did not comment on the exploitation query.


The actual scapular doesn’t need to have the traditional “Whosoever dies…” decorative panel on it, and I have seen scapulars sold by Carmelites and others with dozens of different decorations. When I was enrolled in the Scapular they also were giving out the scapulars for free - no purchase necessary - and you can buy those from lots of places other than Carmelites also, or even make it yourself at home from a kit.

I don’t think the Carmelites are making a ton of money off those cheap traditional scapulars which cost at most a couple dollars, nor do they really go around promoting the Scapular in USA these days in anything but a devotional way since we do not have a confraternity here in the states anyway.


OK thank you. Your linked document stated no decoration required other than a small cross.


Right, and I think maybe the scapular makers would be doing a favor by making the scapulars much less “decorative” (small cross or no decoration) and much more sturdy or looking more like the actual habit. Those cheap things with the Simon Stock silk panel fall apart, bleed etc. I have seen some of the more “serious” scapular wearers wearing a four or five inch square of plain brown cloth with the little cross and sturdier cords.

I don’t want to discourage you in any way from having the devotion to Our Blessed Mother. For me personally I think the Carmelite spirituality adds to the devotion, since it’s very contemplative and mystical, but that’s just me. Also, regardless of the historical uncertainty about St. Simon Stock’s vision, he was still an awesome holy person who lived in a tree and for all we know maybe he did see Mary.


Note: his tongue is not sticking out. He is scratching his chin.

If I am going to be called childish, please do so for the right reason!



You completely misunderstand our Order’s devotion to Mary. It is not based on the vision, real or not, of St Simon Stock. The Order’s devotion to Mary was established at it’s very beginnings in Mt Carmel, long before St Simon.
You are, of course, perfectly free to believe in the legend, but not to insult those who don’t.


My apology, closer inspection I see a change of image. Worth pointing out that emogi may be misinterpreted.


It sounds like you have misunderstood a lot of what was said about the Brown Scapular and the Carmelite order. We do foster a special devotion to Our Lady, and it is distorting to think that we have “debunked” Simon Stock.

No doubt St. Simon Stock was greatly inspired by Our Blessed Mother with regard to the habit of the order. Please do not read what is not there in the catechesis of the Brown Scapular.

The Carmelites study the Doctors of the Church on prayer and focus on growing in their prayer life. That is what Our Blessed Mother would want us to do.

Peace in Carmel!

Dorothy, T. O. C. (Third Order Carmelite)


Perhaps spend some time praying and mediating on this issue as it’s clearly God help you need and perhaps Mary’s intercession. I agree that the Brown scapular is clearly Carmelite in origin, this is a beautiful and wonderful order of which Mary is a patron, though if you dont feel called to it, that is fair enough, but it is clearly devoted to her.
Perhaps read up on Marian devotions? it may be that another may suit you more, it is often the way that we feel against one thing strongly when our will is in action and we should really let God lead. Let God guide you, not easy I know. God bless you, you are doing the right thing asking lots of opinions, now pray and let God’s will be told to you.


Dorothy, please watch the video on YouTube that I referenced, maybe you should understand how the Order is being represented. The Carmelite Brown Scapula - speaker is a Carmelite member. Debunk definition - expose, demystify, I stand by that word.


Bluebright. My prayers have been answered already, I am following my spiritual instruction. St Lúcia Santos told us that we should all wear the brown scapula. It is a simple and pure reminder to follow a pledge of devotion to Our Lady, I will fall into the majority of owners, good faithfull Catholics, one faith, one community. To my delight I have been informed I was enrolled after my First Holy Communion many years ago. Yes it is attributed to the Carmelites but symbolic and a sign of my faith that no amount of bullying will tear out of my heart.

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