Scapular question


If a Catholic is dying, and another Catholic wants to give them their Brown Scapular, can they do that, or should the Brown Scapular be blessed again before the dying Catholic can wear it?

I understand that once a Scapular is blessed, it won’t need to be blessed again, nor if you get a new one for yourself, since you’d be enrolled the first you get the Scapular blessed, but what about if you share your Scapular with a dying Catholic?


It is my understanding (but know I may be wrong) that during the blessing of the brown scapular in actuality the person requesting the blessing for it is getting blessed, so if that person put it on a dying person it would no longer be blessed. But I thought of something - would it be at the request of the dying person or without their knowledge &/or wish? It seems that would make a difference, too as each person has been given free will and other humans are not to try to take that away.


Some might counter that with infant baptism.


If I were in that situation and I was at the bedside of a loved one who was dying, I wouldn’t even worry about the legalisms of the blessing, investiture, etc. I would feel free to offer my scapular to that person, telling him or her that I was placing him or her under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and asking Our Lady to care for the dying person and lead him or her to Jesus.

If the person were conscious, I would ask their permission. If not, I guess I would just make that decision on their behalf, and entrust it all to God through the intercession of Mary.


As you point out, it’s a program where the person is enrolled. I haven’t heard of any benefit of having a blessed scapular worn by someone who is not enrolled. The scapular in and of itself has no automatic guarantee of salvation. It’s the participation with the program where we are devoted to Mary as our spiritual mother, who will lead us to follow Christ, that is the real power.

The scapular is a sign that stands for the decision to follow Jesus like Mary in being open to God and to His will, be guided by faith, hope and love, to pray at all times, and to discover God present in all that happens around us. The Scapular holds us to live as authentic Christians in line with the teaching of the Gospel, to receive the sacraments, to profess our special devotion to the Blessed Virgin. We must keep in mind that the scapular is not an automatic guarantee of salvation, not a magic charm, nor an excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life. Unless the person has been enrolled in the scapular, and has followed faithfully, and for some reason simply happens to be without his or hers, I really don’t know what giving yours to him or her would do for them.

I would think that praying for him or her would help. If time permitted, getting a priest to make sure the person had a confession if needed, and to perform last rites (anointing of the sick) would be things to do as well.


I’d like to add that there are reported scapular miracles. While the person has their own free will, faith in and relationship with God, is in a state of grace or not which largely affects their own salvation…, it may be your relationship with and devotion to our Mother Mary, and matters that her prayer is granted for the cause as well.

In 1845, a shipload of passengers in danger of being sunk by a tornado in the Indian Ocean, were saved from a watery grave when a young Catholic sailor took off his Scapular, waved it in the form of the cross, and threw it into the ocean. Immediately its fury abated! Shortly afterward, a wavelet washed the Scapular onto the deck at the sailor’s feet. A Protestant minister, Rev. James Fisher, his wife and children witnessed the Scapular miracle. After docking in Australia, the Fishers found a priest who received them into the Catholic Church.

A house in St. Aulaye, France was discovered in flames. Fr. Lejeune induced a boy to throw his Scapular into the burning house. The fire instantly stopped. Next day the Scapular was found in the debris perfectly intact and uninjured.


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