Hang this wall scapular on your wall as a reminder of the precious scapular, its story, and Mary’s promises to those who wear a scapular and obey God’s commands.
About the scapular:
A scapular is part of a monk’s or nun’s habit. It is the strip of fabric that has a hole in the middle so that it could hang over the shoulders and cover front and back. Its name came from the Latin word for shoulder; ‘scapula’. In the fifteenth century, Third Order members were required to wear the scapular. The Third Order is laypeople so the scapular was reduced in size, and it was eventually miniaturized in the sixteenth century.
Today, the scapular is typically made up of two small double squares of cloth (sometimes only one). They are normally 2-inch squares with two long strings between them so they can be hung over the shoulders, with one square in front and one in back. The scapular is usually the same color as the habit of the religious order to which it belongs. The scapular can have an image of Our Lady or a symbol that relates to the particular devotion it recalls. Scapulars are sacramentals, they give the wearer God’s protection. There are approximately 18 different scapulars, most of them have an origin that stems from a vision.
Our Lady, St. Simon Stock, and the Scapular
Simon was born around 1165 A.D. At the age of 12, Simon traveled to the Holy Lands where he met a group of hermits who called themselves the successors of Elijah. Simon joined them. His last name Stock, which means “tree trunk”, is thought to have derived from his behavior of living in the trunk of an oak tree as a hermit.
When the Muslims began to take over the Holy Land, Simon and his friends fled to England. There Simon started many Carmelite Communities in areas like Cambridge and Oxford. He also started some in Paris and Bologna. He changed their ways from being hermits to Mendicant Friars.
Years later the Carmelite Community wasn’t doing so well. Then on July 16, when Simon was in Cambridge, he decided to go to his room and pray to Mary. While in his room, Mary suddenly appeared to Simon holding the brown scapular in one hand and she said:
Many years later both religious and ordinary Catholics have been able to wear the scapular. The church has approved 18 different kinds of scapulars. But the most popular is the woolen brown scapular which Our Lady gave Simon Stock.
Simon’s feast day is on May 16 and
Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s feast is July 16.
Brown Scapular Enrollment:
Years ago, many Catholic parishes enrolled the children who were to receive their first Holy Communion in the Brown Scapular. Today it’s not as common.
If you want to be enrolled, talk to a Catholic priest.
Here is a link for the enrollment prayers.
Take a look at the entire site for even more information on the Brown Scapular.