The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: A Sign of Christian Faith & Commitment
The Brown Scapular is the part of the religious habit worn by Carmelites to signify their devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, their trust in her, and their commitment to live like her. There is a simplified form as illustrated in the photo for those who do not wear the full Carmelite habit. There is also a Scapular in the form of a medal.
The word 'scapular' indicates a form of clothing which monks wore when they were working. With the passage of time people began to give symbolic meaning to it, such as the cross to be borne every day as disciples and followers of Christ. In some religious orders, such as the Carmelites, the Scapular turned into a sign of their way of life. The Brown Scapular came to symbolize the special dedication of Carmelites to Mary. The Brown Scapular is therefore a sign which stands for the decision to follow Jesus like Mary:
- open to God and to his will,
- guided by faith, hope and love,
- close to the needs of people,
- praying at all times,
- discovering God present in all that happens around us
- introduces people into the family of Carmel,
- points to a renewed hope of encountering God in eternal life with the help of Mary's protection and intercession ...
The Brown Scapular has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries. The Scapular is not a magical charm to protect you or an automatic guarantee of salvation.
Short formula for giving the Brown Scapular
Receive this Scapular (by any priest), a sign of your special relationship with Mary the Mother of Jesus, whom you pledge to imitate. May it be a reminder to you of your dignity as a Christian, in serving others and imitating Mary. Wear it as a sign of her protection and of belonging to the family of Carmel, voluntarily doing the will of God and devoting yourself to building a world true to his plan of community, justice and peace.
Enrollment of the Brown Scapular on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 16th July.