Is the Scapular Biblical?


The brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: This scapular is the best-known and most popular of the different scapulars. According to tradition, our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England on Sunday, July 16, 1251. (In our liturgical year, July 16 is the feast day for Our Lady of Mount Carmel.) She presented him with the scapular and said, ‘Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.”

In this apparition and gift, our Blessed Mother promised a special protection for all members of the Carmelite Order, and a special grace at the hour of death to all who wear the scapular so that they would not perish in Hell but would be taken up to Heaven by her on the first Saturday after their death. (Note that the Church does not teach that wearing a scapular is some sure ticket to Heaven; rather, we must strive to be in a state of grace, implore our Lord’s forgiveness, and trust in the maternal aid of our Blessed Mother — all positive acts of a person who wears a scapular sincerely.)


That’s a lie from the pits of hell. Where in scripture can I find such claims?

As with any sacramental, a scapular does not offer magical protection. But it can be spiritually powerful, due to the blessings bestowed on it through the Church’s intercession. Sacramentals, which both symbolize holiness and actually become holy through the blessing they receive, dispose us to receive graces.

Wearing a blessed scapular indicates, first and foremost, the conscious effort of one who is motivated to live as a true disciple of Christ. In this way, a scapular offers many occasions of grace. It acts as a reminder to pray regularly, to ask the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and to live a faith-filled life. What it cannot offer is an unconditional guarantee of salvation.

What, then, do a scapular’s promises mean? The Brown Scapular, for example, carries with it the promise (traditionally believed to have been made by Mary in an apparition to St. Simon Stock) that “he who dies in this will be saved.” It also offers us the Sabbatine Privilege, or the assurance that a properly disposed wearer will benefit from the Holy Virgin’s intercession, especially on the Saturday (thus “Sabbatine”) following one’s death.

“Properly disposed” is a key phrase here. Regarding sacramentals, the Church has always taught that one must be properly disposed for them to be effective.

While it’s true that a sacramental is made objectively holy by its transformed nature (having become a blessed object), it’s also true that blessings don’t operate in a vacuum. God uses them, in cooperation with our will, to impart grace. But if we’re unwilling, they can become meaningless.

If my doctor advises me to cut out sugar, walk regularly, and take my medicine, I’d be presumptuous to down milkshakes for breakfast, crawl slothfully through my days, and expect the medicine to compensate for my omissions. Similarly, I cannot expect a scapular to compensate for what I’m unwilling to contribute to my spiritual health.

The scapular is a time-honored and powerful devotion that asks its wearers to live out the faith they profess. The “medicine” can’t work if we’re working against it, so we should never exercise presumptuous expectations. But if we wear a scapular out of genuine love for Christ and a deep desire to be with Him in eternity, we can hope, in faith, that our expectations will be fulfilled.

In that sense, the privileges associated with that “sacramental thing on strings” are genuine promises. They are the assurances of things hoped for, but not yet seen.”


Where in scripture does it read a scapular can be spiritually powerful, offers occasions of grace, disciples who wore it showed he was a true disciple of Christ, and that anyone should ask for the intercession of Mary? None of this is Biblical! Test all things with scriptures.

One thought on “Is the Scapular Biblical?

  1. Anithanam

    Your lack of history amuses me. My dude, the Roman Catholic Church is directly traced back to the apostles. Nowhere in scripture does it say the Bible has it all. In fact, the Holy Spirit will reveal things not even in the Bible. Secondly, the Pope Francis can be traced back all the way to St. Peter. Your ignorance in Christian history is sad. I’m not kidding when I say this, learn your history. Trust me.
    Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 590 – 604): “Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.”

    Pope St. Clement I, A.D. 88-97: “Heretical teachers pervert Scripture and try to get into Heaven with a false key, for they have formed their human assemblies later than the Catholic Church. From this previously-existing and most true Church, it is very clear that these later heresies, and others which have come into being since then, are counterfeit and novel inventions.”

    Saint Augustine, Doctor, (died A.D. 430): “No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honour, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.” (Sermon to the People of Caesaria)


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