The brown scapular is a sacramental sign of special devotion to Our Lady. Do you wear a scapular? Should you? Read more below!

The History of the Brown Scapular

The scapular originated hundreds of years ago as two large pieces of cloth, attached at the shoulders with narrow strips, that covered the front and back of a monk’s habit. The word ‘scapular’ is derived from the Latin word ‘scapula’, or shoulder blade. It was originally worn for the practical purpose of preserving the habit from dirt and wear, but over the centuries became associated with specific devotions, and is now worn in smaller form as a sacramental of the Church.

There are more than a dozen types of scapulars approved by the Church: white scapulars, green scapulars and many others, each associated with a different devotion to Our Lady, Our Lord, a saint, a Religious Order, etc., and worn as a sign of special consecration to that devotion.

The first, and still the most popular scapular, is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

The Carmelites

According to tradition, in the year 1251 a Carmelite superior general by the name of St. Simon Stock lived in Cambridge, England. St. Simon was praying during this time for heavenly intercession for his Order, as the Carmelites were facing trials and oppression.

On July 16th, 1251, he received an apparition from Our Lady. She handed him a Brown Scapular, saying,

“Receive, my beloved son, this Scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, 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.”

Since then, the Brown Scapular has been recognized as a source of great graces for those who, living holy lives, wear the Scapular with devotion during life and at the time of death. The Brown Scapular is now generally made of two small pieces of brown wool connected by cords.

Wearing the Brown Scapular

Because the scapular is a sign of faith and devotion, it should be accompanied by the effort to live a life of faith and devotion, in cooperation with the grace of God. Be sure to have your scapular blessed and have yourself enrolled in the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel:

To receive the benefits of the Scapular, the wearer should 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 one of the Hours of the Divine Office, or the Psalms, or the rosary, or other equivalent prayers. For more information, read A Catechesis on the Brown Scapular prepared by the Carmelites in celebration of the 750th anniversary of the Brown Scapular.


Fun Fact: It is believed that St. Simon was dubbed ‘Simon Stock’ after having lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk (in Old English, a ‘stock’) before joining the Carmelites.



A Prayer of Consecration to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

O Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, I come today to consecrate myself to you, for my whole life is but a small return for the many graces and blessings that have come from God to me through your hands.

Since you look with special kindness on those who wear your Scapular, I implore you to strengthen my weakness with your power, to enlighten the darkness of my mind with your wisdom, and to increase in me faith, hope and charity that I may repay each day my debt of humble homage to you.

May your Scapular bring me your special protection in my daily struggle to be faithful to your divine son and to you. May it separate me from all that is sinful in life and remind me constantly of my duty to imitate your virtues. From now on, I shall strive to live in God’s presence, and offer all to Jesus through you.

Dearest Mother, support me by your never-failing love and lead me to paradise through the merits of Christ and your own intercession.


Join the devotion!

Any priest may bless your Scapular and enroll you in the Brown Scapular Confraternity with the following words:

Priest: Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.

Respondent: And grant us Thy salvation.

P: Lord, hear my prayer.

R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

P: The Lord be with you.

R: And also with you.

P: Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, sanctify by Thy power these Scapulars,
which for love of Thee and for love of Our lady of Mount Carmel, Thy servants will wear devoutly, so that through the intercession of the same Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and protected against the evil spirit, they persevere until death in Thy grace. Thou who lives and reigns world without end.  Amen.

(Sprinkling Holy Water) Receive this blessed Scapular and beseech the Blessed Virgin that through her merits, you may wear it without stain. May it defend you against all adversity and accompany you to eternal life. Amen.

I, by the power vested in me, admit you to participate in all the spiritual benefits obtained through the mercy of Jesus Christ by the Religious Order of Mount Carmel.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and earth, bless you, He who has deigned to join you to the confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Of Mount Carmel; we beseech Her to crush the head of the ancient serpent so that you my enter into possession of your eternal heritage, through Christ our Lord.

R: Amen.


To shop The Catholic Company’s full collection of scapulars, click here.

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  1. Pamela Pingel says

    I am an adult convert to Catholicism and learning about scapulars! I’m thanking all who are keeping me in prayer.

  2. Joyce Palumbo says

    I have a question. My brown scapular is very old and worn. I have been thinking of getting a new one. When I do, how should I dispose of my old one?

  3. Tom & Susan Melillo says


    WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2014 – 6:30 P.M. SHARP

    You are invited to participate in this very Spiritual Devotion to Our Blessed Mother on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The importance of the Investiture is two-fold: (1) Special Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel; (2) To be eligible for the Scapular Promise … One Must Be Enrolled and Invested by a Priest (“Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in
    danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”

    This is Mary’s promise made July 16, 1251 to Saint Simon Stock). All are invited. Please register as soon as possible. If you have been wearing a Brown Scapular but have not yet been Invested, please join us. Scapulars will be provided for those who do not already have one at no charge.

    Existing Members of the Confraternity are asked to join us in welcoming our new members.


    Contact Tom or Susan Melillo (Coordinators): – (561) 622-0855.

  4. says

    Hi Joyce,

    Traditionally, blessed sacramentals are disposed of by burning and then throwing away the ashes, or by burying the item. If you are unable to burn or bury your scapular, you might ask a priest to dispose of it for you.

    Hope that helps!


  5. William Medrano says

    where i can find this scapular blessed in our diocese of palm beach ..???


  6. says

    Hi William,

    You can purchase a Brown Scapular through The Catholic Company:, and as far as having it blessed, you should ask a priest in your area. Any priest can enroll you in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular provided he uses the appropriate prayer, but you might find it particularly helpful to talk to a Carmelite priest.

    God bless,


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