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The Story of the Green Scapular

Guide to the Green Scapular: A Powerful (and Surprisingly Simple) Devotion

Sep 29, 2017 By Ashley Osmera

We probably all know at least one person who has fallen away from the Catholic faith, whether it be after a tragic event, a pulling away from family and tradition, or after having doubts about the Faith that have grown over many years.

Our hearts ache to see this, because the very strength these people need to overcome their difficulties can come through the graces received in the sacraments!

Looking at these situations, it’s easy to feel helpless. Many times we think despondently that all we can do is pray

However this can result from a narrow understanding of what prayer looks like, particularly when it comes to prayers for healing and conversion.

While the rosary, the Memorare, and other prayers are wonderfully powerful ways to intercede for others, Our Blessed Mother decided, in 1840, to help us get a little more creative in regards to how we pray for healing and spiritual conversion for the people in our lives.

Many people know, love, and live the devotion of the Brown Scapular as a way of praying and serving more intentionally. But not many people know about the Green Scapular, which has quickly become known for miracles related to spiritual conversion, as well as healings from physical and mental illness. (In this context, conversion generally refers to non-believers accepting the truths of the Catholic faith, or the return of those who have fallen away from the Faith).

Below is a brief account of this devotional’s story and message.

A Memorable Celebration on Mary's Birthday

On September 8, 1840, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Our Lady appeared to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, a Daughter of Charity in France. In her right hand Mary held her Immaculate Heart surrounded by flames, and in her left hand she held a green scapular. According to the Society of the Green Scapular:

“The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string.  On one side was an image of Our Lady dressed in a long white gown which reached to her bare feet…On the other side of the scapular was pictured her Immaculate Heart, all ablaze and transparent as crystal, with rays pouring out that appeared more dazzling than the sun.

Image from the Society of the Green Scapular

This Heart, pierced with a sword, was encircled by an inscription in the form of an oval and topped by a golden Cross.  The inscription read:

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.

At the same time an interior voice revealed to Sister Justine that God desired to establish among mankind a more tender and confident appreciation and love of His Most Beloved Mother by means of devotion to her through the title of her Immaculate Heart.  When invoked under this title and through this holy image Our Lady would obtain great favors from her Divine Son—especially in the areas of physical health, peace of mind and spiritual conversion.

She, who is the Refuge of Sinners, would especially obtain the conversion of those who had fallen away from the True Faith, or who had never possessed it.”

Unanswered Questions

While Our Lady urged that the scapular be made and distributed as soon as possible, there were many delays. One was the fact that Our Lady had not answered many questions about the use of the scapular:

  • What circumstances were necessary to make the scapular effective?
  • Was there a special blessing or ceremony for enrolling persons in its use?
  • Were there any obligations for those who used it?
  • Was the scapular for use only by certain groups of people or in certain situations?

The Green Scapular Devotion and Uses

Exactly six years later, Mary appeared again, and Sr. Justine asked her these important questions. Our Lady’s reply was surprisingly simple and rather intriguing:

“This scapular is not like others [it is not based on a religious habit] but merely two holy images on a single piece of material. Therefore, no special formula is required to bless it or enroll someone in its use. It suffices that it be blessed by a Catholic priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession. If, on the other hand, the person is unable, or even unwilling, to wear it or carry it, it may even be slipped, unknown to them, into their clothes, possessions, home or work environments, etc."

Click the image to view our Green Scapular

While devotions like the Brown Scapular have a good list of requirements for efficacious use, there is only one prayer that accompanies the Green Scapular—the petition on the back of it: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

Read more: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Brown Scapular: What You Need to Know

Our Lady urged those who use the scapular to pray this prayer daily, if not more frequently. If the person for whom the scapular is intended does not say the prayer (such as in the case of slipping one into a friend or family member’s home or office without their knowledge) then the giver may recite it on their behalf.

One of the most important things to remember about this devotion can be seen in a particular detail in the image of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. The rays that burst from it possess varying lengths and levels of brightness, and this illustrates the fact that the greatness of the graces received will depend on the intercessor’s degree of confidence in Our Lady.

Prayer for the Green Scapular

An Avalanche of Miracles

Favors obtained using this scapular have been incredible. The Green Scapular has its own society today because of an overflow of miracles that occurred during a particular six-month period.

Some of the most common types of miracles associated with the Green Scapular include: healings of people on the brink of death or suicide, sudden wisdom and understanding in the midst of dangerous relationships or behaviors, and, most importantly, quiet or drastic changes of heart which lead people to (or back to) the Catholic Church.

For more in-depth stories detailing specific graces received and incredible conversions undergone after using the Green Scapular, click here. (Scroll down to Part 3: Favors Received)

Perhaps, out of all the hearts in the world, a mother’s heart feels loss, distress, and separation the most deeply. Therefore, it seems appropriate that Mary would urge us to invoke her for these causes under the title of her tender, motherly Immaculate Heart, which bore so much sorrow and anguish during her lifetime.

Wait, So Who Should Use This Again?

According to the outline given by the Green Scapular Society, Our Lady stated that the scapular should be "worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession", particularly in regards to conversion or healing.

That being said, many people choose to buy the scapular to openly or covertly give to friends and family. However, if you yourself are in need of healing physical or emotional healing, or are struggling with a doubt or trial that has keep you from fully embracing an aspect of the Catholic faith, then you can certainly wear the scapular yourself and ask for Our Lady's intercession in that area.

In any case, let us run to our Dear Mother and rest under her heart’s healing rays.

If you would like to purchase the Green Scapular, you can click here.

Continue reading What You Should Know About the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Comments

If I have no access to the person meaning they wont really see you, can you place the scapular on their photo and pray for them daily? Or would it be possible to bury in their yard?
Hello Kym. The most important part of this devotion is faithful prayer. If you are able to get the physical scapular close to them, that is great. Otherwise placing it by a picture or wearing one yourself while praying for yourself and the other person is another option.
Alesia
Alesia says
Dec 17 2018 11:00AM
A few years ago I attended a conference through the Coming Home Network International. One of the speakers there suggested I purchase a green scapular and slip it under my friend’s bed, between her mattresses and pray a rosary for her conversion everyday until her conversion is complete! After my reversion to the Catholic Church this friend of mine seen my Cathechism on my lamp table and stated she’d love to read that someday. I bought her one for Christmas that year, but I doubt she has read any of it. I truely long for her conversion to Christ’s Church! What a joy that would be for her and for me! A miracle to be exact! Are there any testimonies of conversion anywhere that I could read? I’m not doubting at all the power of prayer to our Blessed Mother Mary! I have seen miracles happen in minutes by asking for her intercession time and again in my own life! Even the return of an electronic that was taken from a state campground rest room that ended up four hours away from the campground! My marriage and engagement rings lost in the bottom of a lake with 100 miles of shoreline and found five rings that day! Not all of which were mine! So I don’t doubt one bit the power of our Blessed Mother Mary Immaculate on our behalf. Praying the Rosary is always rewarding no matter what, could the Rosary be prayed in place of or along with the green scapular prayer?
Hello Alesia! If you go to the "An Avalanche of Miracles" section of the blog, there is a link to testimonies of answered prayers.
Deacon Mark Averett
Deacon Mark Averett says
Oct 10 2018 8:02PM
Is there a specific prayer that a priest is supposed to use in blessing the green scapular? I asked our priest to bless it, and he said he would be happy to, but that there was a specific blessing for it which he did not have. I can't find one on the internet after considerable searching. Please advise.

Thanks, and God bless!
Hello Deacon Mark! According to the Society of the Green Scapular, "This scapular is not like others (it is not the clothing-habit of a confraternity) but merely two holy pictures on a single piece of material. Therefore no special formula is required to bless it or enroll someone in its use. It suffices that it be blessed by a priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession."
In light of this, the "blessing" formula can simply be whatever a priest would pray over any other sacramental, such as a medal or crucifix. Hope that helps!
Norma
Norma says
Aug 7 2018 4:34PM
Dear sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ

I believe that God loves us so much that he gave us such a wonderful mother in , THE VIRGEN MARY.

May Our Lord God be glorified, praised, and loved forever and ever.

Aren't we blessed to receive from the Virgen Mary the green scapular. She is always trying to lead us to her son our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be our Lord God! Praise be our Lord Jesus Christ and his wonderful mother, The Virgen Mary.
Jacqueline Cardoza
Jacqueline Cardoza says
Jul 19 2018 4:28PM
I was given a Green Scapular by a dear friend when I was first diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was given about 5 years to live. That was over 11 years ago. I’ve never taken the scapular off (except when I shower). I’ve had to have it replaced twice but I simply sew all of them together so in essence I’m still wearing the original one. I pray the rosary daily and have just completed my Five First Saturdays. Our Blessed Mother is such an advocate for us.
Angie Davidson
Angie Davidson says
Jul 9 2018 5:50PM
As a member of the Legion of Mary for our Parish, we go out and visit the home bound and the sick in hospitals. We also work to save souls by getting wayward Catholics back to church.

Where can I get green scapulars to give to people as we evangelize on behalf of Mother Mary?
Hello! The Catholic Company has several options:
https://www.catholiccompany.com/green-scapular-i1045
https://www.catholiccompany.com/green-scapular-short-cord-i16580
https://www.catholiccompany.com/laminated-green-scapular-i80553
Susan
Susan says
Mar 15 2018 7:10PM
Hello

I want to use this to pray for my sons health and freedom from drug addiction. I pray rosary also.

My best friends mother gave it to me today.

I will slip it to him as soon as I can but he is trying to get detox help now!

Any advice . Is the prayer simply

Immaculate heart of Mary , pray for us now and at our death amen

Do you ask for her intercession

Thank you
" While devotions like the Brown Scapular have a good list of requirements for efficacious use, there is only one prayer that accompanies the Green Scapular—the petition on the back of it: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

Our Lady urged those who use the scapular to pray this prayer daily, if not more frequently. If the person for whom the scapular is intended does not say the prayer (such as in the case of slipping one into a friend or family member’s home or office without their knowledge) then the giver may recite it on their behalf."

Free free to ask for Mary's intercession in additional and more specific ways!
Ashley,

That was a very insightful and beautiful reply to "Susan". I probably would never have thought about it being sent for the good of her fundraising endeavors! Good for you for being so charitable in your reply. Blessings.
I just received a green Scapular today from a person that does not know me. Reading now the intention that it states above that is for people who are mentally ill or have fallen away from the church. What an insult and it is manipulation and judging me from a person who does not know me. At first I thought it was because I am pretty successful at fundraising and the organization needs funding. Now that I have read the meaning above ha! I would not raise a cent for this organization. Glory hound behavior that is what these ego centered actions. I love our heavenly mother and I chose her because I was called to do so and if someone does not approve of how I show how I love her and I observe the instructions of the Roman Catholic faith then the supposed gift is manipulation. The leaders of the church wonder why parish membership is declining !
Hello Susan,
While I can't know exactly what this person's intention was, I certainly don't think it was meant to be an insult or a manipulation. I'm sorry that you took it that way and were hurt by that understanding.
In the article, I mention that through the Green Scapular, God wishes to "establish among mankind a more tender and confident appreciation and love of His Most Beloved Mother by means of devotion to her through the title of her Immaculate Heart." While the Green Scapular is well known for helping procure drastic changes in mind and soul, these petitions are not the only way to use the Green Scapular. Many wear it and pray with it simply as a way to increase their devotion to the Immaculate Heart and grow in the continual, daily conversion of heart to which all Christians are called.
Another cool fact is that some people specifically put the Green Scapular in their workplace, to dedicate their organization to the Immaculate and ask for her special intercession on their work. I think this would be a beautiful way to use the Green Scapular you received; I think it's even possible that the person that gave you the scapular had this use in mind, especially since fundraising is tough work and always in need of graces from Our Lord and Our Lady.
I hope this helps, and may God bless your work and your life Susan!
Dolly Lipomi
Dolly Lipomi says
Oct 25 2017 11:21PM
What blessings does the Brown Scapular need?
Hi Dolly, you can read about the Brown Scapular and find the investment prayer here: https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/brown-scapular-our-lady-carmel/.
Florence Mayes
Florence Mayes says
Oct 1 2017 6:28AM
Thank you so much. A customer at the store where I work handed me a green scapular about 4 years ago, and it has been hanging in my room since then. I pray a daily rosary for many intentions, the conversion of my husband being right after the salvation of all souls. I had no idea that such a powerful aid was right in my view every day. I will have it blessed at Mass today and start this devotion for my husband. Now is the time! Thank you.
Carol corrado
Carol corrado says
Sep 30 2017 5:31PM
I would like three green scapular and two brown ones. Where can I purchase them
Hi Carol! You can purchase them at www.catholiccompany.com
Rose
Rose says
Sep 30 2017 4:02PM
I have given a friend the green scapula and i have had it blessed. He dose not keep it with him but he said it's at his area of comment living, i guess his room. I pray the prayer on his behave is this Ok?
Hello Rose! Yes, the scapular can be worn or put in a living space, work space, car, etc. You may certainly pray the prayer on his behalf, though if you haven't already done so you could also ask if he would be open to praying the prayer as well!
Sarah
Sarah says
Sep 30 2017 1:10PM
Can you wear it for the conversion of someone else?
Hello Sarah,
In my research I haven't seen specifically that this is an official way to use the green scapular. If you can give the scapular to the person openly or leave it in their house/work space etc that is ideal, and fulfills the instructions that Mary gave in regards to its use.
However if you have no physical way to give the scapular to the person you have in mind (whether openly or covertly, perhaps if they live in another country and you can't mail it to them) then 1. You can certainly pray the prayer for them every day! and 2. You can always wear it yourself and pray for a continual conversion of heart and deepening in faith for yourself, and include this person in your intentions.
Sharon O'Hara
Sharon O'Hara says
Sep 30 2017 9:27AM
This is beautiful! I could use a green scapular for my sister who suffering from dementia. And through no fault of her own, because of the disease has backed away from our Lord and his graces.
Mary T McAllen
Mary T McAllen says
Sep 30 2017 3:06AM
I'm at at work.I want one!!
Mary Cicha
Mary Cicha says
Sep 30 2017 1:09AM
Does it have to be blest?
Hello Mary,
Yes, you should have it blessed, just as you would have a new rosary, crucifix, or other sacramental/religious item blessed. This can be completed by a simple blessing from any priest. However it does NOT need the investing process that the Brown Scapular requires.

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Commentary by

Ashley Osmera Ashley Osmera

Ashley grew up in Charlotte, NC and found her way back there in adulthood. She graduated from Belmont Abbey College with a degree in Psychology, and hopes to pursue a degree in Counseling at the graduate level. Ashley enjoys reading, being outdoors, and all of the fine arts, including writing, art, theatre, ballroom dance, and music. Her favorite devotion is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and she also has a newfound love for St. John Paul II and Mary Undoer of Knots. Ashley has written digital content for a variety of religious and secular institutions.

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