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THE BROWN SCAPULAR

In the year 1251, in Aylesford, in England, Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock, the superior general of the Carmelite Order and handed him a brown scapular, saying:

"Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favour, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection".

This apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary is known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Due to her great promises to those who wear the scapular, the devotion spread also to the laity as a sign of Marian devotion and consecration. Since then, the brown scapular has been recognised as a source of great graces for those who, living holy lives, wear it with devotion during life and at the time of death.

As the scapular is a sign of faith and devotion, it should be accompanied by the effort to live a good and holy life, in cooperation with the grace of God. To receive the benefits of the scapular, the wearer should have the scapular blessed and be enrolled in the confraternity of the brown scapular. Members of the confraternity should devoutly wear the scapular as a visible sign of devotion to Our Lady, with a commitment to regular prayer, frequent reception of Holy Communion, and daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or one of the Hours of the Divine Office (such as Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, or Night Prayer), or the Psalms, or the Rosary, or other equivalent devotional prayers.