Thursday, July 16 was the feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel, and of the Brown Scapular which Mary gave to St Simon Stock on this day in 1251 with the promise that whosoever should die wearing the scapular would not suffer eternal fires. This is the promise of salvation given to all who devoutly wear the Brown Scapular, not as a "good luck charm" but as truly being clothed with Mary, with her love, her protection, and all her virtues.
This is essential to understanding the scapular: It is a piece of clothing. It comes from the religous garb of the Carmelites and is rooted in the Jewish traditions laid out in the book of Numbers. All devout Jews wore a scapular -- Jesus, Mary and Joseph all wore scapulars. The Apostles all wore the scapular.
Through the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:44), the Blessed Virgin Mary came to the world as "Our Lady of Mount Carmel", calling to mind by the appearance of a cloud that she would crush the head of the ancient serpent with her own heel and with the heel of her Son.
The Brown Scapular of Carmel is nothing less than the mantle or scapular with which Elijah called Elisha. When Elisha took up the Brown Scapular of Elijah, the Scapular of Mount Carmel, he had received a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.
In these dark times, we all need a double portion of Elijah's spirit, we all need the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
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