THE BROWN SCAPULAR - A SIGN OF DEVOTION TO
The Brown Scapular is a Roman Catholic devotion to Mary under her title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is worn as a sign of love and devotion for the Mother of God. The Carmelite Order, to which the Scapular belongs, originated on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land and the Scapular is itself a reflection in miniature of the habit (scapular: a sleeveless outer garment falling from the shoulders) which the monks wear as a sign of their vocation and devotion. Over the years the scapular, at least for lay people, became much reduced in size to but
small pieces of wool cloth suspended front and back.
OUR LADY APPEARS TO ST. SIMON STOCK
The Scapular was presented by Our Lady to St. Simon Stock, the Father General of the Carmelite Order, on July 16, 1251. St. Simon’s story is very interesting. He was an English hermit and lived in the hollow of a tree. He received the name "stock" because he lived in the hollowed trunk or stock of a tree. In time he became a Carmelite and later the Father General of the order. He led the order during a time of struggle. The Carmelites originally were hermits on Mount Carmel, near Nazareth in the Holy Land. When they migrated to Europe, in this case England, some saw great wisdom in no longer being hermits and instead becoming friars who would work among the people. St. Simon guided them through this state of transition. In the year 1251 a most momentous vision took place. St. Simon Stock, newly transplanted to England, prayed earnestly to Our Lady for help. Then: To him appeared the Blessed Virgin with a multitude of angels, holding the Scapular of the order in her blessed hands ...
MARY'S PROMISE TO THOSE WHO WEAR THE SCAPULAR
Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying : Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire .... It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.
Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: "I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life
Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
First Day O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist us
in our necessity! O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our M other! (pause and mention petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Second Day Most Holy Mary, Our Mother, in your great love for us you gave us the Holy Scapular of Mount Carmel, having heard the prayers of your chosen son Saint Simon Stock. Help us now to wear it faithfully and with devotion. May it be a sign to us of our desire to grow in holiness. (pause and mention petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Third Day O Queen of Heaven, you gave us the Scapular as an outward sign by which we might be known as your faithful children. may we always wear it with honor by avoiding sin and imitating your virtues. Help us to be faithful to this desire of ours. (pause a nd mention petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Fourth Day When you gave us, Gracious Lady, the Scapular as our Habit, you called us to be not only servants, but also your own children. We ask you to gain for us from your Son the grace to live as you children in joy, peace and love. (pause and mention petiti ons) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Fifth Day O Mother of Fair Love, through your goodness, as your children, we are called to live in the spirit of Carmel. Help us to live in charity with one another, prayerful as Elijah of old, and mindful of our call to minister to GodÕs people. (pause and me ntion petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Sixth Day With loving provident care, O Mother Most Amiable, you covered us with your Scapular as a shield of defense against the Evil One. Through your assistance, may we bravely struggle against the powers of evil, always open to your Son Jesus Christ. (paus e and mention petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Seventh Day O Mary, Help of Christians, you assured us that wearing your Scapular worthily would keep us safe from harm. Protect us in both body and soul with your continual aid. may all that we do be pleasing to your Son and to you. (pause and mention petition s) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Eighth Day You give us hope, O Mother of Mercy, that through your Scapular promise we might quickly pass through the fires of purgatory to the Kingdom of your Son. Be our comfort and our hope. Grant that our hope may not be in vain but that, ever faithful to your Son and to you, we may speedily enjoy after death the blessed company of Jesus and the saints. (pause and mention petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Ninth Day O Most Holy Mother of Mount Carmel, when asked by a saint to grant privileges to the family of Carmel, you gave assurance of your Motherly love and help to those faithful to you and to your Son. Behold us, your children. We glory in wearing your holy ha bit, which makes us members of your family of Carmel, through which we shall have your powerful protection in life, at death and even after death. Look down with love, O Gate of Heaven, on all those now in their last agony! Look down graciously, O Virgin, Flower of Carmel, on all those in need of help! Look down mercifully, O Mother of our Savior, on all those who do not know that they are numbered among your children. Look down tenderly, O Queen of All Saints, on the poor souls! (pause and mentio n petitions) Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
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