Our Lady of Mount Carmel holds a special place in the hearts of the Catholic faithful around the world. As the patroness of the Carmelite Order, she is revered for her intercession, protection, and guidance.

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Brown Scapular!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

Who is Our Lady of Mount Carmel?

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is an ancient Marian title and devotion.

She is the patroness of the Carmelite Order and a pillar of their spirituality. Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is shared through the Brown Scapular.

Where is Mount Carmel?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

Where is Carmel?

Mount Carmel is the mountain in the middle of the plain of Galilee. It is where the prophet Elijah called down a miracle of fire from the Lord, showing the people of Israel who had strayed that "The Lord is God!" and that the prophets of Baal were worshiping a false god.

Mount Carmel is also a place where a group of hermits lived during the 12th century. They eventually became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel” with a special devotion to the Blessed Mother. This was the beginning of the Carmelite Order we know today.

Carmel is also considered a spiritual place.

According to EWTN, “As a spiritual place, Carmel’s reputation certainly derives from its connection to Elijah, but its mention in the Canticle of Canticles (also known as Song of Songs or Song of Solomon) has produced the most Christian commentary. In this poem about love, the head of the Bride is compared to Carmel. Many Christian authors, therefore, have seen Canticle (also known as Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon), as an allegory of the life of union with God. Thus, in the Doctors of Spiritual Theology, such as St. John of the Cross, Carmel becomes a metaphor for seeking God (cf. Ascent of Mt. Carmel; Spiritual Canticle). And for Carmelite nuns, it is the name used for their houses dedicated to contemplation.”

What is the brown scapular?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

What is the Brown Scapular?

The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or the Brown Scapular, consists of two pieces of brown wool on a cord.

"On July 16, 1251, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock, a Prior of the Carmelites, giving him the Brown Scapular." Our Lady promised that  "Whoever dies invested with this Scapular shall be preserved from the eternal flames. It is a sign of salvation, a sure safeguard in danger, a pledge of peace and of my special protection until the end of the ages.” (EWTN)

According to the Holy See’s Directory on Popular Piety, “The Scapular of Mount Carmel is a reduced form of the religious habit of the Order of the Friars of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel. Its use is very diffuse and often independent of the life and spirituality of the Carmelite family.”

How do I enroll in the brown scapular? Who can wear the brown scapular?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

Who can wear the Brown Scapular?

Any Catholic with holy intentions can wear the Brown Scapular.

How do I enroll in the Brown Scapular Confraternity?

Any Catholic priest can enroll you in the Brown Scapular.

A full version of the priestly blessing is available here.

What indulgences are granted to those who devoutly wear the brown scapular?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

What indulgences are granted to those who devoutly wear the Scapular?

1. A plenary indulgence on the day of receiving the Scapular. Conditions: Confession, Holy Communion, and offer prayers for the pope.

2. Plenary indulgence at the moment of death. Conditions: Confession, Communion, prayers for the pope, and devout invocation with the lips, or at least with the heart, of the Holy Name of Jesus.

3. Reciting the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary devoutly – 100 days indulgence.

4. Each time the Scapular is kissed – 500 days indulgence.

(Source: Sisters of Carmel)

What is the Sabbatine Privilege?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

What is the Sabbatine Privilege?

According to Catholic News Agency, “This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: "I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death, and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting."

Requirements for obtaining the Sabbatine Privilege:

1) Continuously wear the Brown Scapular.

2) Observe chastity according to one’s state in life.

3) Daily recite of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary OR abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays OR with the permission of a priest, say five decades of the Holy Rosary.

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendour of Heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
(Mention your intention.)

O Star of the Sea,
help me and show me
in this that thou art my Mother.

O holy Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech thee,
from the bottom of my heart,
to help me in this necessity;
there are none that can withstand thy power.
O show me in this that thou art my Mother!

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
(Repeat three times)

Sweet Mother,
I place this cause in thy hands.
(Repeat three times)

Our Father . . .
Hail Mary . . .
Glory be . . .
(Repeat three times)

Prayer Source

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