Anybody here enrolled in and wear a brown scapular? I would love to hear about what drew you to it and how it has helped change your life (especially any younger people since I am in my early 20’s myself).
Yes! Me and my son got enrolled together at a church ceremony. Unfortunately, this is a rare offering. If you want to be enrolled, you probably have to organize it yourself with a priest willing to do it.
I’m in my 50’s but I hope my comments are helpful to you. What drew me to it is my devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, who requested that it be worn. I am a member of the Blue Army, a Fatima Apostolate, and wearing the Brown Scapular is part of the commitment you make.
How has it changed my life? Well, it has given me much peace, especially in the current world craziness, because I believe in its protective power, if worn with faith and devotion. It is not a superstition, though it can be, if not worn in the proper spirit. It reminds me every time I put it on, of my love for Our Lady. Kissing it provides an indulgence as well. Mainly, it gives me great peace and is a sign of my consecrated service to the Mother of God and to live with her as my example.
Chastity is more of an issue for a young person. The scapular helps with chastity in the sense that you place it upon your body and it reminds you that your body belongs to God and is the Temple of the Holy Ghost and the Tabernacle of the Holy Eucharist.
I could talk about the Scapular all day! Please message me if you want to talk more about it. I hope you are able to get enrolled. Talk to a conservative priest (who would be more likely to be interested) and tell him you would like him to offer this at his parish. Hopefully many more people will join you-Good luck!
Oh yes! Wear the brown scapular and pray the Rosary every day. It is really unfortunate we do not hear our clergy encouraging being enrolled in the brown scapular and pray the Rosary every day like it should be encouraged. These are sacramental treasures in the Catholic faith, they just have kind of gotten lost with all the modernism. I would say to always go back before Vatican II and look at what the Catholic life was, the sacramentals and devotions and do that.
I’m young like you, and I’m enrolled in the brown scapular. It brings great peace of mind knowing the promises given by Our Lady with it.
A story I have concerning the scapular is about my uncle. He was 41 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and was catholic but did not live a very good life. At the ER where he was diagnosed, a few of us went to see him. They only let 1 person back at a time, so when it was my turn a great aunt stopped me and gave me her scapular and said “give this to your uncle, and tell him I want it back whenever he’s better. He can’t take it off either for any reason; it’s wool so it won’t interfere with any scans or anything.”. So I go back, give him the scapular, and relay this message and he promises to do just as she says. Fast forward 3 months, he is frail and clearly dying. He had been to confession in the beginning of it all, but not lately. A priest is visiting his floor and hearing confessions and taking names of anyone wanting communion. He goes to my uncle and ultimately hears his confession and puts his name down. 5 minutes later my uncle collapses from a blood clot, and is pronounced dead. The priest had not even left the floor yet, and was there to console my aunt. One promise of Our Lady is that she will see to it that our spiritual needs are met at the time of death for those who wear the scapular. She clearly kept this promise with my uncle.
The Brown Scapular actually represents the habit of the Carmelite order. There are specific principles of Carmelite spirituality one is supposed to follow when wearing it. The Carmelites have observed that the mass enrollments of entire First Communion classes and the like in the Brown Scapular that often happened in USA prior to Vatican II resulted in many people being indiscriminately enrolled who didn’t really understand the devotion and its link to the Order, especially since USA does not have active Scapular Confraternity chapters like Italy and other European countries. So, this is a case where what was done before Vatican II is not really a good way to go.
While saying the daily Rosary is a good practice, it is best if the enrollments in the Brown Scapular are limited to people who understand what the Scapular represents and are willing to make a commitment to the spirituality associated with it, which goes beyond just saying a daily Rosary.
Good Morning to you, Kyle, from West Michigan and praised be Jesus Christ!
A couple things I think our Lady would like you to know.
1: Your desire to hear about the Brown Scapular and desire to grow in faith is a grace (a divine gift). You would not even have this desire to learn about it without first being inspired to learn about it from above. Take encouragement in this.
2: Any such grace, gift, or divine sign is from Above no matter how little it feels like it i.e. no matter how much it feels like it is YOU who are doing these prayers or devotions. It is from God Himself that you are even able to sweetly utter the Name of God.
3: Any promise from our Lady will be, without doubt, granted so long as you have faith and understand (even in the simplest and slightest of ways) that it is a pure gift from God Himself and not from your own human efforts (you only need to believe that it comes from God and pay attention to divine words; they are God’s words but “sounds” like your voice)… As Jesus said, “No one comes to Me unless the Father draw him” (John 6:44) and, through St. Paul, the Spirit of God says, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3). Therefore, take courage that it is God Himself, when you believe and pray to God through Jesus that is praying these prayers (you are simply the one who, with Mary, says, “let it be done to me as you have said” or, more simply, saying “yes” to God (Luke 1:38)).
4: Do not seek signs, seek God for His sake. Seek God for Himself alone because He loves you infinitely; God shows no partiality. Do this, and all else will follow Him naturally. Seek God with a pure heart and signs will fall down before you like the dew fall. However, once again, pay no attention to the desire for signs. Simply seek to have a will that desires God above all and not Him for His gifts.
A brief story:
When I was seeking God in my younger years, I was so hungry and thirsty for God that I could not get enough of his Word, words from the holy people, stories from Saints etc. I was constantly spiritually “eating” like an active boy who was growing in his teens and early twenties. Nothing was satisfying; nothing would “fill me up” so to speak. I then came upon a Priest: a very simple, holy and gentle Priest. During this time, if I can recall correctly, I was learning about the angelic realm and, subsequently, demons. I was interested to know more about them and even exorcisms. While I was speaking with this Priest, Fr. Don, I discovered through him or someone close to him that he was actually the diocesan exorcist. More interested now, I began, as it were, coming to him often to hear his words and watch his actions as if I were drawn to a well of water of which I had never remembered tasting before… It was rather beautiful. Alas, I’m trailing off into a longer story than I intended In short, I discovered that he, Fr. Don, devoutly wore the Brown Scapular and, I thought, if this Priest did so, a Priest who has cast out demons for years, I ought to pray about it and wear one myself.
I then had him enroll me in it… but through my own immaturity didn’t know about its real gift other than my childish thoughts about it; I didn’t really understand its greater significance. Alas! I lost it! Time passed and I forgot about it and being devoted to God through Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Fast forward to a bit later and I felt drawn to her and her Brown Scapular again and then went to get one at the local Church supply. I then, a few days later, brought it to Mass with me and, having it with me, stopped a Priest who had just celebrated the Mass and asked him to formally enroll me in it as this Brown Scapular I wear today came with a little piece of paper with the form of the enrollment. The Priest didn’t seem to know much about it himself and took great joy in vesting me with it. That day, I recognize as a day that our Lady essentially said to me, “before, in your youth, when you did not know the consequences of your actions as clearly, I allowed you to carelessly lose it. Now, today, I formally re-vest you with this Scapular myself. Remain in my Son and He will remain in you, for His sake. We love you, child, and will always be with you.”
May you find some consolation to know that any Priest can enroll you in this and take heed to Our Lady’s words as if they were coming from God Himself as she is the Queen of Heaven and so united to God, at Jesus’ right hand, that everything she says and does comes from Her divine Son. Just ask any Priest to enroll you and he will do it…my advice: pray to her prior to being enrolled that you may honor God in your heart and ask her to give you the grace to be enrolled and faithfully wear this heavenly garment. May our Lady of Mount Carmel help guide you to see what I am saying is true. Grace and Peace to you and your home, young soldier for Christ.
I used to wear the brown scapular as a teenager and in my early 20s. At some point, I stopped (not sure why, really). No one - including the first person to give me one and encourage me to wear it - ever told me about enrollment or shared the real catechesis behind it. I was only told now what I understand to be partial truths or discontinued teachings. So, I agree with @Tis_Bearself; this isn’t a devotion for large distribution scale unless there’s going to be some education first.
All that said, as an adult, I’ve come to appreciate that I do have a lot in common with Carmelite spirituality, and because of that, I’ve considered taking it up again when I can give more discernment (and follow up on) enrollment.
Actually that’s not the case. Only priests who are Carmelites or have been given the faculties to enroll by Carmelites can enroll people in the Brown Scapular. As I understand it, the Blue Army (now called World Apostolate of Fatima) priests received the faculties to enroll people, but cannot give these faculties to other priests.
The best place to get enrolled is one’s local Carmelite monastery. Or if you happen to live near a Blue Army shrine you can go there.
However, if you cannot get officially enrolled, or not right away, you can still wear the Scapular, try to follow Carmelite spirituality, and gain the spiritual benefits.
“According to a statement made by the Carmelite Fathers, at the National Scapular Center, every Priest now has the right to invest the Faithful in the Brown Scapular, and to substitute the Rosary in lieu of the “Little Office”.”
For me one of the reasons I enrolled was because Mary requested Catholics to do this during the Fatima apparitions. This is from Francis Johnston’s work “Fatima: The Great Sign” (the work has the commendation of the Bishop of Fatima):
We signify our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by enrolment in and by wearing the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the 700-year-old sign of personal consecration to the Mother of God. In a famous interview on 15 August 1950, Sister Lucia was questioned by the Very Reverend Howard Rafferty, O.Carm., a provincial director of the Third Order of the Carmelites in America. After stressing the importance and significance of the scapular in the Fatima message, she explained how, during the miracle of the sun when the three children were privileged to see the mysteries of the rosary in tableaux form, the Blessed Virgin appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and held out the brown scapular to the world.
Fr. Rafferty asked Lucia: “Why do you think Our Lady appeared with the scapular in the last vision?” The seer replied: “She meant that all Catholics should wear the scapular as part of the Fatima message. One could not follow this message unless he or she wore the brown scapular.” She was then asked: “Is the scapular as important as the rosary in fulfilling the Fatima message?” Her reply summed up seven centuries of devotional history: “The scapular and the rosary are inseparable.” Following another question, she added: “The Holy Father has told this to the whole world, saying that the scapular is a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” She was here referring to a letter written by Pope Pius XII in commemoration of the seventh centennial of the scapular in 1951. His Holiness wrote: “Take this scapular which Our Lady has given as a sign of consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Go out and convince the world that it must be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin if it will find peace. Go out and through this scapular re-dedicate families especially to the Holy Mother of God, who has shown her graces so abundantly through this scapular.”
In wearing the scapular, we should strive to imitate Our Lady’s beautiful spirit of recollection, humility, purity, patience and charity, so that God may see the likeness of His own Mother shining in the souls of His children. “Like St. John of the Cross,” says Fr. Rafferty, “all of us who make the commitment of belonging to Our Lady in a special way by taking the scapular and wearing it faithfully must be resolved also to imitate all the virtues of which this holy habit is a symbol.”
Also, for anyone interested, in 2000, as part of the commemoration of the 750th anniversary of the Brown Scapular, representatives of the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance and the Discalced Carmelites worked together to produce The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual. The purpose of the document was to clear away misconceptions and misunderstandings about the Brown Scapular, and to explain the true importance of the scapular. As well as catechesis, it also contains the rite of enrolment and can be purchased here (the work has the nihil obstat and imprimatur):
Table of Contents
Letter and Pastoral comments on the Brown Scapular of O.L. of Mount Carmel by the five North American Provincials.
The official statement of the Brown Scapular of O.L. of Mt. Carmel issued by the Generals of both the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance (O. Carm.) and the Discalced Carmelites (O.C.D.).
The approved English text of the “Rite of Blessing of and Enrolment in the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel” as issued and confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and for the Discipline of the Sacraments, November 29, 1996. Prot. 2243/96L.
The Message of John Paul II to the Carmelite Family (2001), on the Brown Scapular.
Rite for the Blessing of and Enrolment in the Scapular
Alternative Rite for the Blessing and Enrolment in the Scapular
The Word of God (eleven Scriptural texts as options)
For anyone interested, Francis Johnston’s work “Fatima: The Great Sign” is available here:
Do you have a link to where you got this from? Because it is at odds with the Carmelite Scapular Catechesis.
Edited to add, it appears you got this from the Sisters of Carmel website. As we have explained many, many times on here, the Sisters of Carmel are a schismatic group, not in communion with their bishop. They propagate a huge amount of misinformation on the Brown Scapular. Their information should not be followed as a lot of it is just plain WRONG.
The official Carmelite scapular catecheis is here:
Carmelites also haven’t required the Little Office, or required a daily Rosary, as part of Scapular devotion in years. Rosary can be done as part of practicing the spirituality, but it is not required.
While this devotion may not be largely distributed, I believe that all should come to our Lord with a desire for Him as He is in Himself. We ought not get too caught up in a legalistic sense given that our devotions and prayer is an expression of an interior reality. Anything we do outwardly ought to come from the heart first and foremost, otherwise it is useless.
We desire all souls to be saved and should therefore help others in anyway we can. “Encourage each other daily while it is still today.” (Heb 3:13)
This specific verbiage I used was from the pamphlet that came with this scapular. However, here is a link for you:
Yes, please see my edited post above where I said that Sisters of Carmel are not in communion with the Church. Nor are they actual Carmelites - they aren’t part of the order.
It’s unfortunate that their page keeps coming up in Google search.
I would say in the last 3 years, I and others have had to post about this here upwards of 50 times. These “sisters” are misleading the faithful.
You are correct!
Hi Dorothy, can you please provide a link not associated with Sisters of Carmel? This is new to me and I stand corrected if this is now the case. If it is, when did this start?
Fr. Morello says differently in his Catechesis, so this is an important point for us all to know.
Thank you - I know I can rely on your Lay Carmelite knowledge
I have the original book from TAN Books. It’s falling apart but I won’t throw it out.
For the past fifteen minutes or so after having read the early beginnings of this thread, I have tried in vain to find “The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Catechesis and Ritual” with an explanatory article from both branches of the Carmelite Order, printed in the year 2000.
The entire article had been, in the past, able to be found online.
It is in a booklet I have that can be purchased at the Institute of Carmelite Studies.
Many questions were answered in the lengthy article, with regard to how one can be a part of Brown Scapular devotion…one of which is does no longer have to be made of 100% wool!