On July 16, 1251, Our Lady of Mount Carmel gave Saint Simon Stock the Holy Scapular, a symbol of her maternal presence and protection. Learn here about the promises to those who wear the Scapular of Carmel.
Newsdesk (16 July 2021, Gaudium Press) On July 16, the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is because on this same date, in the year 1251, the Mother of God gave the English Carmelite Saint Simon Stock the Holy Scapular, symbol of her maternal presence and protection.
This occurred after the Saint asked with great insistence the protection and support of the Blessed Virgin to the Order of Carmel, which was going through great difficulties, after having left the Holy Land, abandoning Mount Carmel the place where Saint Elias lived and where he had founded the Order.
Our Lady of Carmel delivers the Scapular and makes an important promise
St. Simon Stock prayed asking Mary for some sample of the protection she promised to the Carmelite Order of which he was the Prior General. “Flower of Carmel, flowering vine, splendour of heaven and Virgin fruitful and singular, oh sweet Mother who knew no man; may your name protect the Carmelites, Star of the Sea,” he prayed.
It was not long before Our Lady answered the saint’s cry by presenting herself to Saint Simon Stock guarded by angels and giving him the Scapular. At that very moment she made him an important promise.
Promises of Our Lady of Carmel to those who die with the Scapular
The heavenly Mother has promised that whoever carries her Scapular and carries it always with him will not go to hell. “Beloved son receive this Scapular of your Order as a symbol of my brotherhood and a special sign of grace for you and all the Carmelites; anyone who dies wearing it will not suffer in the fire. It is a sign of salvation, a defender in perils, a promise of peace and of this covenant,” she told the English Carmelite saint.
But this was not the only promise that the Virgin of Carmel made. Seventy years later the Virgin made another promise: Our Lady will deliver from Purgatory anyone who wears her Scapular. And she will fulfil this promise on the Saturday after the death of the devout Carmelite.
The Sabbatine Indulgence is another promise of the Scapular of Carmel
This took place in the year 1322 with Pope John XXII. The Virgin of Mount Carmel appeared to him wearing the habit of Carmel and revealed to him the so-called ‘Sabbatine Indulgence’. “I, Mother of Mercy, will deliver from purgatory and bring to Heaven, on the Saturday after their death, those who have worn my Scapular,” she assured him.
On March 3 of the same year, the Pontiff promulgated the Bull Sabatina, which was soon ratified by other Pontiffs. Among them, Pope Paul V, who on 20 January 1613 declared that “on the Saturday after the death of the Carmelite brethren, or as the Church interprets it, as soon as possible, but especially on Saturday, the Virgin of Carmel, with motherly affection, frees them from the expiatory prison and introduces them into Paradise”.
The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Scapular of Carmel is composed of two pieces of wool in brown which are joined by two ribbons or cords, representing the habit of the Order of Carmel. It is a sacramental and, therefore, must be blessed and imposed by a priest. Both the blessing and the imposition are valid for all the Scapulars that the person wears.
These are the words of the priest when imposing the Scapular of Carmel: “Receive this Scapular as a sign of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Carmel, so that, with her merits, you may always wear it with dignity, that it may be your defence in all adversities and lead you to eternal life. (EPC)