Last year I wrote an article about the history of the Brown Scapular in honor of the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that was approaching. This year, I’d like to focus on the role the Brown Scapular plays as our spiritual armor.
Pope Benedict XV, the Pope of World War I, who had a deep devotion to Our Lady stated to the world, “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.”
ARMOR OF KINGS
“Therefore take the WHOLE ARMOR of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.” Fr. Crasset, SJ relates the miraculous event of a trumpeter in a French military company who received a pistol shot from someone near, and that when he examined his breast, where he said that he had been hit, he found that the ball had been stopped by the scapular of the Virgin which the man wore, and that it had not even troubled the flesh. He took it and exhibited it to the whole company. Louis XIII, King of France on witnessing this miracle, immediately asked to receive the heavenly armor of the Scapular.
ARMOR OF SAINTS LASTS FOREVER
It is remarkable that just 25 years after St. Simon’s Stock’s vision; Pope Gregory X was buried wearing the Scapular. When his tomb was opened 600 years after his death, his scapular was found intact.
Saint John Bosco, the 19th century founder of the Salesian Order, also had a great devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and her scapular. He was buried in his priestly vestments, and after his death in 1888, when his body was exhumed in 1929, the rest of his clothing had decayed, but Don Bosco’s brown scapular was still in good condition!
When St. Alphonsus Liguori’s grave was opened decades after his death, his body and vestments were decayed in the dust, but his brown scapular which he was wearing was still intact. It is on exhibit today in the Redemptorist Monastery in Rome.
ARMOR OF PRIESTS
One of the miracles Fr. Howard Rafferty recounts is of a French priest who was on pilgrimage to Einsiedeln, Switzerland. He was on his way to Mass when he remembered that he had forgotten his Scapular. Although late, he returned to his room for it. While saying Mass, a young man approached the altar, pulled out a revolver and shot him in the back…but the priest continued to say Mass since he had his back to the people. The man was apprehended later, but in the sacristy the abbot exclaimed, “I thought the man missed you.” When the vestments were removed, the bullet was found adhering to his little brown scapular.
ARMOR THAT IS UNTOUCHABLE
In the book Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Liguori tells the story about a young man in Perugia who once promised the devil that if he would help commit a sinful act which he desired to do he would give him his soul, and he gave him a writing to that effect signed with his blood. The evil deed was committed and the devil demanded the performance of the promise. He led the young man to a well, and threatened to take him body and soul to hell, if he would not cast himself into it. The wretched youth, thinking that it would be impossible for him to escape into it, but terrified at the thought of death, he said to the devil that he had not the courage to throw himself in, and that, if he wished to see him dead, he himself should thrust him in. The young man wore about his neck the scapular (ARMOR) and the devil said to him: “Take off that scapular, and I will throw you in.” But the youth, seeing the protection which the Divine Mother still gave him through that scapular, refused to take it off, and after much altercation, the devil departed in confusion. The sinner repented deeply and converted. Later he would present a picture of this case as an offering at her altar in the new church of Santa Maria in Perugia.
ARMOR AND THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD
It is interesting to note that the last and most important apparition in Lourdes to St. Bernadette occurred on July 16 the feast of Our Lady of Carmel. Also in Fatima at the last and most important apparition the Virgin Mary appeared dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The children said she was the prettiest during this apparition in which Mary handed the brown scapular (ARMOR) to the whole world. Was she showing us a way of protecting ourselves in the future? Well, look at what St. Dominic prophesied to St. Francis of Assisi and Brother Angelus, “One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, she will save the world.”
JOIN US TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMOR OF GOD!
CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
AT SAINT MARY CATHEDRAL
WHAT: Three Lectures on Our Lady of Mount Carmel & the Brown Scapular
WHERE: Bishops’ Hall
WHO: Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, Provincial Delegate, Carmelite Order
Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez
& Regina Mater students will present on Miracles of the Brown Scapular
WHEN: Saturday July 14, 2012
TIME: 9 A.M. ~ 12 P.M.
MASS: Saturday, July 14th, 12:05 PM + Scapular Enrollment & Blessing
SPECIAL GUESTS: Third Order Carmelites from the Diocese of Austin
- “A Veiled Secret: The Affinity Between Pope John Paul II and the Carmelites,” Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD
- 2011 ACNM Brown Scapular Article, Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez
- Signs of Life by Scott Hahn, pg 233 on Google Books