Differences in Scapulars?

I have a brown scapular, but I don’t think it’s the Brown Scapular of the Carmelites; it has a picture of St. Francis.

Anyway, I had been doing some research before I bought it, and I’m finding some conflicting stuff here (I’m sorry I don’t have the specific links, but all the info below came from Catholic web sites):

  1. I read online that the scapular must never be encased in plastic. But my church gave out free green scapulars, encased in plastic, that had already been blessed. Is there a difference in types of scapulars and what is “allowed?” I can’t imagine the priest would have blessed a scapular that wasn’t “right.”
  2. I also read online that (specifically) the Brown Scapular must be worn around the neck. I’ve spoken to several people who carry their scapulars in their pocket, etc. Is it only the Brown Scapular that must be worn this way, or all scapulars?
  3. Also, one site said the scapular doesn’t necessarily have to be touching your skin, but I read on a different site that you’re really not supposed to wear it outside you clothes, as you would a regular necklace. I suppose maybe they meant it could be worn over an undershirt but under your regular shirt.
  4. Must all scapulars be made of wool, or just the Brown?

The reason I ask–I’m apparently allergic to wool, as my scapular makes my chest and back break out in a rash. It’s too hot to wear an undershirt this time of year, so it’s either out in the open like a regular necklace, or up against my skin causing a rash. :frowning: That’s why I wanted to know about the plastic covering, and does it have to be wool, and can it be worn some other way?


The Brown Scapular should be made of wool and should be worn against your body. It imitates a wool garment and was not particularly meant to be comfortable. There is a scapular medal you might wear instead but the use of anything other than wool against the chest has been said to be less efficacious.

The brown scapular is not blessed until you are formally enrolled in it by a priest. All priests may enroll you by following the short or long form in the Rituale. Once you are enrolled, your replacement scapulars do not need to be blessed, they become blessed by virtue of you wearing them, much like the vestments of a priest.

The green scapular of Our Lady is frequently carried in the wallet and does not necessarily need to be worn. It sometimes comes in a plastic sheath.

It doesn’t really matter which picture is on your brown scapular, as long as it is brown and made of wool. You must stay faithful to the devotions specified for the scapular to enjoy the Sabbatine privilege.

By the way, welcome aboard!

Thanks, Giuseppe! :slight_smile:


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