Scapulars for the Catholic

Scapulars are patterned after work aprons worn by monks circa 550. To protect their clothing while working, monks would wear a large piece of fabric, folded in half and with a hole cut in the center so that it could be slipped over the head. Each monastic order had its own colors and symbols. During the Middle Ages, members of the laity sometimes were granted permission to be buried wearing the scapular of the monastic order with which they had become associated. Over the years, smaller scapulars replaced the original apron-sized ones. Wearing a scapular reminds Catholics to live their Faith.

Today’s Scapulars

Scapulars are now usually made of two pieces of 2-by-1½-inch woolen fabric attached by two strings. The strings are placed over the shoulders so that one piece of fabric hangs against the chest and the other piece hangs against the back.

Until 1910, all scapulars were made of cloth. On December 16, 1910, Pope Pius X allowed metal scapulars to replace cloth ones but only if one part had an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the other had an image of Mary.

The Brown Scapular

On July 16, 1251, St. Simon Stock, superior general of the Carmelite Order, reported that he had a vision in which the Blessed Mother gave him a Brown Scapular to wear.

Some Brown Scapulars worn today have images of St. Simon Stock and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Some bear Mary’s promise: “Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”

The Green Scapular

In the early 1840s, Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, reported that she had visions of Mary holding a scapular. The scapular described by Sister Justine became known as the Green Scapular or the badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It consisted of a small rectangle of green cloth hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady, and on the other, her Immaculate Heart, with the inscription “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.”

The Red Scapular

In 1846, Sister Appoline Andriveau, a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, sent word to Pope Pius IX that Jesus had appeared to her many times and showed her a scapular. The pope believed in the apparitions and appointed the Lazarist Order of priests to encourage wearing of the scapular, named the Red Scapular of the Passion of Christ. One side of it shows Jesus on the Cross and the words “Holy Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, save us”; the other side shows the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the words “Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, protect us.” Christ promised Sr. Appoline an increase in faith, hope, and charity to those who wear the scapular and meditate on His Passion.

Originally posted 2019-05-17 17:25:29.