Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

i didn’t want to hijack another thread so i started this one.

i have a question about the scapular. it was supposedly given with a promise 'This is for you and yours a privilege; the one who dies in it will be saved.

where does that leave Jesus’ saving grace?

i think you don’t have to believe in the scapular but it seems like the church puts the mother equal to her Son in a lot of things.

Have you read the Scapular Catechesis that was authored by a priest of the general curia of the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance [O. Carm.] and a priest of the Teresian Discalced reform [O.C.D.]. On this point, they write:

The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is best understood in the context of our Catholic faith. It offers us a rich spiritual tradition that honors Mary as the first and foremost of her Son’s disciples. This scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother and queen. It offers an effective symbol of Mary’s protection to the Order of Carmel its members, associates, and affiliates as they strive to fulfill their vocation as defined by the Carmelite Rule of Saint Albert:“to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ.”

While Christ alone has redeemed us, the Blessed Virgin Mary has always been seen by Catholics as a loving mother and protector. The Blessed Virgin has shown her patronage over the Order of Carmel from its earliest days. This patronage and protection came to be symbolized in the scapular, the essential part of the Carmelite habit.

Stories and legends abound in Carmelite tradition about the many ways in which the Mother of God has interceded for the Order, especially in critical moments of its history. Most enduring and popular of these traditions, blessed by the Church, concerns Mary’s promise to an early Carmelite, Saint Simon Stock, that anyone who remains faithful to the Carmelite vocation until death will be granted the grace of final perseverance. The Carmelite Order has been anxious to share this patronage and protection with those who are devoted to the Mother of God and so has extended both its habit (the scapular) and affiliation to the larger Church.

Private revelation can neither add to nor detract from the Church’s deposit of faith. Therefore, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel echoes the promise of Divine Revelation: The one who holds out to the end is the one who will see salvation (Matthew 24:13), and Remain faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a reminder to its wearers of the saving grace which Christ gained upon the cross for all: All you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in him (Galatians 3:27). There is no salvation for anyone other than that won by Christ. The Sacraments mediate this saving grace to the faithful. The sacramentals, including the scapular, do not mediate this saving grace but prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows form the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. (CC 1670)
We see, therefore, that the Church clearly teaches that all grace, including that of final perseverance, is won for us by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. Simply wearing the Brown Scapular does not confer that same result.

Is it okay to carry the brown scapular in a pocket or in your purse, because when I wear it around my neck it irritates my skin? I have a lot of allergies and sensitive skin and certain materials when they come in contact with my skin causes a rash or
itching. Which is what happened the first time I wore mine.

As far as I know it has to be physically worn for the Sabbatine Privilige to be in effect. I think, but am not 100% sure, that the Carmelites have given a dispensation to people in your situation allowing the wearing of a metal medallion in lieu of the wool scapular (but please check with more knowledgeable sources, I’m going off memory).

Okay. Thank you.

The original promise was addressed to the Carmelites, that if they died wearing the habit, that is faithful to their vocation, (The scpapular is part of the habit.) then they would escape the fires of Hell. By extension that means that if we are faithful to our vocation in life then we will not feel the fire of Hell.

The scapular doesn’t have to be made of wool and many today aren’t. Just noting that in case the allergy is specifically to wool.


You can wear the scapular medal instead. Unlike the cloth scapular the scapular medal needs a blessing again if you should lose one. With the cloth scapular, the blessing automatically passes on when a cloth scapular is replaced.

The Sabbatine Privilege was debunked in 1613. It’s a false teaching. Carmelites were told not to promote it.

From the Scapular Catechsis:

Historical research has shown that the alleged fourteenth-century appearance of the Blessed Mother to Pope John XXII is without historical foundation. As a matter of fact, in the year 1613 the Holy See determined that the decree establishing the"Sabbatine Privilege" was unfounded and the Church admonished the Carmelite Order not to preach this doctrine. Unfortunately, the Order did not always comply with this directive of the Holy See.
At the time the Carmelites were instructed to stop mentioning the"Sabbatine Privilege" the Holy See acknowledged that the faithful may devoutly believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary by her continuous intercession, merciful prayers, merits, and special protection will assist the souls of deceased brothers and sisters and members of the confraternity, especially on Saturday, the day which the church dedicates to the Blessed Virgin.

You are correct. Our Lady will assist us, especially on Saturday,…but no specifics.

Did the Holy See actually state that it was a false teaching, or were the Carmelites told to stop promoting it? There is a difference. You could infer that it means one and the same, but you could also infer otherwise.

I found** this from the Catholic Encyclopedia, on
(Click on the link for the full article)

The name Sabbatine Privilege is derived from the apocryphal Bull “Sacratissimo uti culmine” of John XXII, 3 March, **1322. **


Our first information of this Bull is derived from a work of the Carmelite Balduinus Leersius (“Collectaneum exemplorum et miraculorum” in “Bibliotheca Carmelit.”, I, Orléans, 1752, p. 210), who died in 1483. The authenticity of the Bull was keenly contested especially in the seventeenth century, but was vigorously defended by the Carmelites. The chief opponents of its authenticity were Joannes Launoy and the Bollandist, Daniel Papebroch, both of whom published works against it. Today it is universally regarded by scholars as inauthentic, even the “Monumenta histor. Carmel.” of the Carmelite B. Zimmerman (I, Lérins, 1907, pp. 356-63) joining in rejecting it.


We reproduce here the whole passage dealing with the Sabbatine privilege, as it appears in the summary approved by the Congregation of Indulgences on 4 July, 1908.


[quote]It is permitted to the Carmelite Fathers to preach that the Christian people may piously believe in the help which the souls of brothers and members, who have departed this life in charity, have worn in life the scapular, have ever observed chastity, have recited the Little Hours [of the Blessed Virgin], or, if they cannot read, have observed the fast days of the Church, and have abstained from flesh meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays (except when Christmas falls on such days), may derive after death — especially on Saturdays, the day consecrated by the Church to the Blessed Virgin — through the unceasing intercession of Mary, her pious petitions, her merits, and her special protection.


Notice the specific requirements and how they go waaaayyyy beyond wearing the scapular:

*]Departed this life in charity
*]Have worn the scapular
*]Have ever observed chastity
*]Have recited the Little Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary
*]Have abstained from flesh meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays

It’s way more than just wearing a piece of cloth. It’s about living a virtuous life of prayer and discipline.

Although it seems that the abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays is, strictly speaking, an alternative to the Little Office for those who cannot read. Although it would seem to be a good thing to do anyway.

I was also under the understanding that you could get permission from a priest to pray the Rosary daily instead of the Little Office.

These specific requirements are outdated, some of them no longer done.

In year 2000 for the 750th anniversary of the Brown Scapular, both branches of the Carmelites (O. Carm and Discalced) issued the Scapular Catechesis. These are the new specific practices:

  1. frequent participation in the Mass and reception of Holy Communion;
  2. frequent reading of and meditation on the Word of God in Sacred Scripture;
  3. the regular praying of at least part of the Liturgy of the Hours;
  4. imitation of and devotion to Mary, the woman of faith who hears the Word of God and puts it into practice;
  5. the practice of the virtues, notably charity, chastity (according to one’s state of life), and obedience to the will of God.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Scapular is here:

Scapular Catchesis

God bless,

Asia 53, Temporarily Professed Lay Carmelite

They are done by some of us (or at least we try).

If Our Lady has asked for these to be done, then how can we deem them to be outdated?

There is no unequivocal proof that Our Lady specifically asked for those requirements. That’s the problem.

How often is there unequivocal proof of private revelations? Did Pope John XXII just make it up?

I don’t think, Pope John XXII had anything to do with it.

From the Scapular Catechesis:

The story of the vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Pope John XXII at Avignon conferring the Sabbatine Privilege of her promise to deliver from purgatory on the Saturday following death the souls of any who died in the scapular has been shown by scholars to be based on an inauthentic papal bull forged in Sicily in the first half of the fifteenth century. Thus the Sabbatine Vision and Privilege too are without any historical foundation. Moreover, in 1603 a book containing the privileges of the Carmelite Order, including the Sabbatine privilege, was condemned by the Portuguese Inquisition. Six years later all books mentioning the Sabbatine privilege were put on the Index of Forbidden Books in Portugal. An appeal to Rome ended when the Roman authorities supported the Inquisition’s ban. The Carmelites were forbidden to preach the Sabbatine privilege a prohibition they did not always honor although the faithful were to be allowed to believe, with certain conditions,“that the Blessed Virgin by her continuous intercession, merciful prayers, merits and special protection will assist the souls of deceased brothers and members of the confraternity (of the Scapular), especially on Saturday, the day which the church dedicates to the Blessed Virgin.”

Please read the Scapular Catechesis, it will answer your questions.

God bless you.

Did not a series of subsequent popes confirmed the Sabbatine privilege, then Pope Paul V issued a decree detailing it, and then Benedict XV said that the faithful should rely on it? Were they all wrong?

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