Popes Urge Use Of Sacramentals
In an apostolic letter Pius XII referred to the Scapular as a "Sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which we are particularly recommending in these perilous times."Leo XIII: . . . "encouraged the wearing of the Scapular by granting a plenary indulgence, applicable to the souls in purgatory, to all who visit a Carmelite Church on the Scapular Feast (July 16th)..."Paul VI: "You will make known our will and our exhortations which we base upon the dogmatic constitution of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II which is in complete conformity with our thought and indeed upon which our thought is based: 'That one ever hold in great esteem the practices and exercises of the devotion to the most Blessed Virgin which have been recommended for centuries by the Magisterium of the Church' (-67). And among them we judge well to recall especially the Marian Rosary and the religious use of the Scapular of Mount Carmel."John Paul II: In his audience of January 10, 1979, Pope John Paul II, who daily prays the Rosary and urges all to pray it, underlined the supreme role of devotion to Mary in the family theme, and the importance of the Rosary as a family devotion. The Holy Father then introduced a new thought which, in effect, makes 1979 and indeed every year a Marian Year. Our Holy Father not only became enrolled in the Scapular of Mt. Carmel, but is a member of the Carmelite Third Order!! (Soul Magazine: Mar.-Apr. 1979).
SACRAMENTALS LEAD US TO SACRAMENTS
To Jesus Through Mary
"A proper appreciation of the sacramentals rests on the realization of their place in the ecclesiastical plan of salvation: they are less than the Sacraments but more powerful than purely private prayer. Such an attitude removes any danger of exaggerating sacramentals at the expense of Sacraments or of overlooking their significant place in Christian living."
God's Estimation of His Mother and Ours
In apparitions to Blessed Mary of Agreda (1602-1665), a Poor Clare nun and mystical writer in Spain, the Holy Trinity revealed the privileges that Our Blessed Mother should enjoy in virtue of Her participation in His majesty. The three Divine Persons placed upon the head of Mary a crown of unmatched splendor while saying: "My Beloved. . . Thou shalt be the Lady and Sovereign of the seraphim, of all ministering spirits, the angels and of the entire universe of creatures. . . In thy hands. . . we place the influences. . . of the heavens, . . . and. . . do Thou distribute (them) according to thy will and our own will shall be at thy disposal for the execution of thy wishes. . . We make Thee. . . the Treasurer of our goods; . . . of our grace for distribution; nothing do We wish to be given . . . which does not pass through thy hands; and nothing do We deny which Thou wishest to concede to men."
Holy Brown Scapular
In presenting the Scapular to St. Simon Stock for the world, Our Lady made but one condition to Her promise of salvation: "Whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire." She promises that anyone who enters Her family of Carmel, and dies, shall not be lost. In effect, She is telling us that Her Scapular is our passport to Heaven. True devotion to Mary always has these notes: homage, confidence, and love. To be a sign of salvation, those three notes must be practiced perseveringly. When we invest ourselves in the Scapular we practice the homage of becoming members of the Queen's battalion, we profess confidence in Her promises, and we become Her special children of love. But, in order to be assured of salvation, we must persevere in those sentiments. By wearing the sign (Scapular) of membership until death, we can continually show the Mother of God that we venerate Her, believe in Her and love Her.
In 1910 Pope Pius X declared that the cloth Scapular, after enrollment, could be replaced by a medal which has on one side an image of Our Lady - this exception to be used only in torrid zones among natives. He then said: "I believe in the Scapular vision I desire most vehemently that the cloth be worn as heretofore."Benedict XV, so anxious and determined to make it very clear to all that the medal was positively never meant to replace the brown cloth Scapular (except in extreme cases) declared on July 8, 1916: "'In order that one may see that it is Our desire that the Brown Scapular be worn we concede to it a grace the Scapular Medal shall not enjoy.' And the pontiff proceeded to grant an indulgence of 500 days for each time the cloth Scapular is kissed."18 On July 16th, the Scapular feast, while addressing the seminarians of Rome, Benedict XV said: "Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the common armor, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel, which you all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death."
"Pope Leo XI recognized one aspect of the sacramental quality of the Scapular when he said, on its being accidentally removed from him at the moment of his Papal investiture: 'Leave me Mary (the Scapular) lest Mary leave me.' So did the Cure of Ars (St. John Vianney) when he called the Scapular one's safeguard against temptation. So also did St. Claude de la Colombiere when he declared that 'no other devotion renders our salvation so certain.'"
"The wearing of the Scapular is always a potent means of grace. German Catholics express this with their one word for the Scapular: Gnadenkleid. i.e., Grace-garment." It is always a powerful means of grace because it always assures us of Mary's continuous prayers. The Scapular is a silent way of saying to Mary that we venerate Her, we have confidence in Her and we love Her. By simply wearing the Scapular, we tell Her all these things every minute, and that we are praying to Her and She is praying for us without ceasing until we are with Her in Heaven. So much for so little! Mary is morally there!
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 afterwards 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.Sturdy and long lasting. All Brown Scapulars come with an attached Crucifix and St. Benedict Medal.