Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Black Scapular

The above image is of the founders of the Servite Order. As they were praying in devotion to Mary's sorrows, she appeared to them and gave them the Black Scapular of her sorrows. Thus was the order founded in the year 1240.

I have at various times gone on a quest of sorts to find out more on a lesser known, yet still Church approved and valid sacramental known as the Black Scapular. This is what I've found:

Black Scapular Order of Friar Servants of Mary: (Servites)A.D. 1240
"The Black Scapular of the Seven Dolors of Mary," or "The Our Lady of Sorrows Scapular," has on its front a depiction of Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lady appeared to seven rich and prominent citizens of Florence who decided to give up their worldly possessions and follow Christ, promising to honor His Mother in her sorrows. Thus began the Servite Order. Mary gave them the Servite habit and said that "these garments shall be to you a perpetual memory of the sufferings of my heart." This is the more common Black Scapular.The General of the Servite Order may grant the faculty of investment with this scapular to other priests." (source)

The black scapular of the Seven Sorrows of Mary: "After Pope Alexander IV’s formal establishment of the Servite Order in 1255, lay men and women formed a confraternity in honor of the seven sorrows of Mary. As a sign of membership, they wore a black scapular, usually with an image of our Mother of Sorrows on the front." (source)

Black Scapular: "Origin:1233 appearance of Mary to the founders of the Servite Order Purpose: Invoke the protection of Mary, Mother of SorrowsPractices: Wear the scapular with special devotion to Mary's Seven SorrowsSource: The Black Scapular is not widely distributed/promoted separately, but is part of the Five-fold Scapular" (source)

I know its not much. I've attempted to contact the Servite order with no respose regarding this scapular, I'll post next on their third order Servite apostolate which I think is less than thriving. I pray for a renewal of such an apostolate and devotion to Mary's sorrows in general. Stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

Sanctus Belle: mercifully I was enrolled in the black scapular of Our Lady of Sorrows by a holy old Servite priest Fr. Gerard Corr, OSM (R.I.P) on the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (an image of Our Lady of Sorrows) 1994, a grace for which I am very grateful.

Unfortunately, many Servites don't even know what the black scapular is, at least, that has been my experience! When I was trying to find black scapulars for some friends to be enrolled, I contacted several Servite convents; one sister didn't know what I was talking about and the other, who sounded old enough to know better, told me to go to the Carmelites (despite the fact that their scapular is not only a different colour, it represents a different order!!!). A senior member of the Order in England told me that 'they have gone out of fashion' since Vatican II. What are we to think of a religious order which so casually discards its own religious patrimony, especially one which was received from the very Hands of the Blessed Virgin Herself!!! I did however find help from the Servites in Chicago. I was able, not only to obtain copies of the pictures for the Via Matris, but also the black scapulars that I needed.

The address for the Chicago Servites is:
1439 So. Harlem Avenue, Berwyn, Il 60402-0712.
I presume these are the telephone Numbers: 708-795-8885. 1-800-778-4000.

Hope that helps! :c). Also, I have a couple of very beautiful pictures of Our Lady of Sorrows which I can email if you’re interested.

Sanctus Belle said...

Jason, I was so hoping that this post would bring some traffic here that could help me learn more about the Black Scapular. I too have searched the internet far and wide and have not found one black scapular except of course those found in the five fold (which I wear BTW) Yes I'd be very interested in your pictures send them to:


I've been toying with the idea of having some black scapulars made and then distribute them for a pittance. Could you please describe your scapular and send pictures?? I'd be so grateful!

Anonymous said...

i think that is a great idea MANY people at our church (aptly named Our Lady Of Sorrows) have asked about a Black Scapular in the book store. I would be more then willing to take quite a few off your hands

Anonymous said...

Mary, the mother of Jesus (Bible) appeared in black to the 7 holy founders on April 15, 1240, Good Friday.

I was born on 4/15/1949, Good Friday.

Anonymous said...

Mary, the mother of Jesus (Bible) appeared in black to the 7 Holy Founders on April 15, 1240, Good Friday.

I was born on April 15, Good Friday.

Anonymous said...

Greetings! -
I believe i can help on The Black Scapulars....

All interested in The Servite Scapular, The Black Wool Scapular in honor of Mary's 7 Sorrows, there are 2 options I know of personally.

1.) There is a company now available online as well as through regular postage called The Rose Scapular Company.
It began as a wife and husband making Quality (highest I have ever seen!) in there own garage for decades. After the husbands death, One (or more?) of their children picked up this Holy Mission, and it is now blossumed into a regular out of the garage business, though the like i mentioned still family owned and operated.

They can be reached online at:
They also have the 5-Fold Scapular, which consists of The Brown (The Most Important), The Red,White,Blue,and Black.

The 5-Fold exists because as ma ny different Orders sprang up through time, and since The Scapulars are simply smaller, secular versions of what the members of particular Orders wear as part of their Habits, A Pope decided to state the 5 Most Important Ones and allowed them to be placed together into one necklace of Wool (always Wool for the Lamb of God, see?)
thus creating the 5-Fold One, which of course The Black Scapular is included in.
The Brown is Most important for Mary promises Whom so ever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal fire". It is Mary's promise to all who wear it - and in doing so as we wear Her Armor perse, She is constantly thinking of us and mak8ing us better people, and we in turn have our thoufghts turned to Her.

But yes, as a Servite at Heart, I too find the Black Scapular the Second Most Important One, and the Rose Scapular people if you order 5+ of them can make a Brown and Black together for you. They did so for me.
Just remember It is a Sacramental of course, and the promises attached are what makes them Beautiful Objects onj earth.

2.) Like I mentioned above, wear the 5-fold Sca[pular which includes the Black and Brown as well as 3 other Beautiful colors of Great Meaning. They come with a special reading of Prayers to take with you to your Parish Priest. Prayers of Investment/wearing.
Beautiful Choice - But a choice none the less.

and the Greatest living Servite is indeed in Chicago, used to do Healing Masses and Excorcisms as well in Medjugorie.
He is now 92 years old, and no longer sees individuals nor says Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows there.

Though at the following link, he can be sent Prayer Requests and the like at The Saint Michael Center:

- Father Peter Mary Rookey
Servant of Mary.
My regret in Life is that I did not see him when I first heard of him 20 years ago.
Now there is a Holy Presnt day Saint to be. (Since 'Saint' only means 'someone we know to be in heaven, due to at least 3 Miracles after their death, etc etc)

May The Peace and Love of Christ and His Holy Mother be with you all.
- Jack Mari-Surrette
ServiteJack Live