The brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the most popular scapular in the Catholic Church today. In the Middle Ages, a scapular was a full-length garment (apron) worn over the monk's or nun's habit, the color signifying the particular religious order. The brown scapular was revealed to St. Simon Stock, the Prior General of the Carmelite order in 1247. The Virgin Mary appeared to him and gave him the brown scapular and associated promises as a result of his pledge of complete loyalty to her (known as a privilegium). The smaller version (pictured above) of the scapular is worn by lay persons.
I always purchase them here. A new one itches slightly for a day or so, then you don't even know its there. My children were all enrolled shortly after First Communion and wear one all the time. I admit openly I have to constantly remind them though "Are you wearing your scapular?" Answer, "uh...I think I left it in the bathroom/my backpack/my school locker/on my dresser/insert any various place..." They wear it willingly, but as children do, forgetfully. I pray they are more mindful as adults. My husband and I have a number of them, one nicer one for everyday, and a whole bunch of tattered ones for running and working out. We wear them at all times except when swimming or bathing. I used to also wear a scapular medal, but the nonstop clanging against my Miraculous Medal drove me nuts.
Saints and popes throughout the ages have worn and encouraged wearing of the brown scapular, and many miraculous events have attested to the value of the sacramental (the scapular worn by Blessed Pope Gregory X, who died in 1276, was found intact in 1830). Pope John Paul II wore the brown scapular from the time of his First Communion until his death. When I read this in a bio of our Late Great Pope, I went right out and got one myself. If the Pope wears one, so should we all.
1. Wear the Brown Scapular (or scapular medal) after enrollment*
2. Observe chastity according to your state in life
3. Recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary or five decades of the Rosary daily (usual requirements)
1. "...whosoever dies wearing this (the brown scapular) shall not suffer eternal fire" (Virgin Mary's promise to St. Simon)
2. Partial indulgence granted by Pope Benedict XV to those who devoutly kiss their scapular.
3. Sabbatine Priviledge: release from purgatory on the first Saturday after death (revelation by the Virgin to Pope John XXII in 1322). Please note that much controversy has surrounded this 'promise' since its promotion by some early Carmelites. The modern Order does not recognize this as legitimate. It is mentioned here for informational purposes.
Your thoughts and practices on the Brown Scapular to the combox please!