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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St Simon Stock, and the Scapular ~ Skit and Craft

Wall Scapular Craft:
Hang this wall scapular on your wall as a reminder of the precious scapular, it's story, and Mary's promises to those who wear a scapular and obey God's commands.
Click here if you would like to print
the scapular images and instructions.
About the scapular:
 A scapular is part of a monk's or nun's habit. It is the strip of fabric which has a hole in the middle so that it could hang over the shoulders and cover front and back. Its name came from the Latin word for shoulder; 'scapula'. In the fifteenth century, Third Order members were required to wear the scapular. The Third Order were lay people so the scapular was reduced in size, and it was eventually miniaturized in the sixteenth century.

Today, the scapular is typically made up of two small double squares of cloth (sometimes only one). They are normally 2  inch squares with two long strings between them so it can be hung over the shoulders, with one square in front and one in back. The scapular is usually the same color as the habit of the religious order to which it belongs. The scapular can have an image of Our Lady or a symbol which relates to the particular devotion it recalls. Scapulars are sacramentals, they give the wearer God's protection. There are approximately 18 different scapulars, most of them have an origin that stems from a vision.
A Short Skit
Our family does a lot of short skits to help the kids learn and remember the things we are talking about.
Here is one about St Simon Stock, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the scapular:

The story Rachel wrote for the play/skit:
Our Lady, St. Simon Stock, and the Scapular

Simon was born around 1165 A.D. At the age 12, Simon traveled to the Holy Lands were he met a group of hermits who called themselves the successors of Elijah. Simon joined them. His last name Stock, which means "tree trunk", is thought to have derived from his behavior of living in the trunk of a oak tree as a hermit.
When the Muslims began to take over the Holy Land, Simon and his friends fled to England. There Simon started many Carmelite Communities in areas like Cambridge and Oxford. He also started some in Paris and Bologna. He changed their ways from being hermits, to Mendicant Friars.
Years later the Carmilite Community wasn't doing so well. Then on July 16, when Simon was in Cambridge, he decided to go to his room and pray to Mary. While in his room, Mary suddenly appeared to Simon holding the brown scapular in one hand and she said:

"He who dies clothed in 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."

Many years later both religious and ordinary Catholics have been able to wear the scapular. The church has approved 18 different kinds of scapulars. But the most popular is the woolen brown scapular which Our Lady gave Simon Stock.

Simon's feast day is on May 16 and
Our Lady of Mount Carmel's feast is July 16.

Brown Scapular Enrollment:
Years ago, many Catholic parishes enrolled the children who were to receive their first Holy Communion in the Brown Scapular. Today it's not as common. 
If you want to be enrolled, talk to a Catholic priest.

Take a look at the entire site for even more information on the Brown Scapular.

May God's peace be with you,


  1. I didn't know he lived in a tree trunk :)Thanks for the link to the enrollment prayers. I was enrolled as a child but my daughter, who just made her 1st Communion in May hasn't been. I guess they don't do this very often anymore. Michaela was born on July 16th, the feast day of Our Lady of Mt Carmel so I think this would be good for her. I had a question that I thought you might be able to answer:
    The scapulars wear out and become ragged over time so they constantly need to be replaced - do they need to be blessed every time or is the enrollment and blessing the 1st one enough? I know it's kind of a silly question but I was curious as to your thoughts on this. One priest told us that it wasn't necessary but I know we used to get them blessed when I was young. Thanks!

  2. Sorry Jennifer, I just read the link and it says only the 1st scapular needs to be blessed during the enrollment.

  3. Hi Mary,
    Yup, you got it, only the first needs to be blessed.
    Personally, I always took my new scapulars to a priest to have them blessed anyway. It just felt better to me....It's just personal preference!
    We are lucky enough to have an old fashioned parish that still enrolls the First Communion children, but we now have a new priest and a new religious ed. director, so I hope the tradition will still continue!
    It was lovely hearing from you!
    God bless.


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