Saint Simon Stock (1164-1265), Superior General of the Carmelite Order, and blessed receiver of a vision and gift from the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Through the visitation of Our Lady, the world was presented with the brown Scapular, referred to as “the armor of Our Lady” by Pope Benedict XV, a devotional aid in the consecration of our lives to Our Holy Mother.
"Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of your Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for you and for your children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection."
Vine ever blossoming,
Virgin who bore a child.
No one is like thee.
Mother gentle and kind.
Yet never touched by man!
To Carmelites give thou the privilege.
Help us Star of the Sea.
(written by Saint Simon Stock)
O all-blessed, immaculate Virgin, ornament and glory of Mount Carmel, thou who dost look with most gracious countenance on those who have been clothed with thy venerable livery, look kindly also on me and take me under the mantle of thy maternal protection. Strengthen my weakness with thy might; enlighten the darkness of my heart with thy wisdom; increase in me faith, hope and charity. So adorn my souls with graces and virtues that it may always be dear to thy divine Son and thee. Assist me during life, comfort me in death with thy most sweet presence, and present me as thy child and faithful servant to the most Holy Trinity, that I may be enabled to praise and extol thee in heaven forever. Amen.
"I, the Mother of Graces, shall descend on the Saturday after their death, and as many as I find in Purgatory I shall free.”
Certainly, this most gentle Mother will not delay to open as soon as possible, through Her intercession with God, the gates of Heaven for children expiating their faults in Purgatory."
Many popes and other religious figures over the centuries have extolled the virtues of the brown scapular devotion. Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: "The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit." More recently, Pope Paul VI said: "Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin ... the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel.” Still, they caution that, although our Lady of Mount Carmel promised that the scapular would protect us from eternal fire, wearing it in itself doesn’t guarantee our salvation.
“endowed with some kind of supernatural power which will save us no matter what we do or how much we sin.” He said, “Fidelity to the commandments is required by those seeking 'the special love and protection of Our Lady.’”
Fatima in 1917, the Mother of God ncouraged all people to consecrate themselves to Her Immaculate Heart. And in the final Fatima vision on October 13th, the Blessed Virgin appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, wearing the robes of the Carmelite Order, holding aloft the Brown Scapular. On that occasion, Our Blessed Mother reminded us that the devoted living of the Brown Scapular consecration, paired with daily prayer of the Holy Rosary, is a necessary part of the amendment of life-- the random of a sinful world-- for which she so earnestly pleaded. Pope Pius XII stressed this important truth: "May the Scapular be a sign to them (all who wear it) of their consecration to the Most Pure Heart of the Immaculate Virgin.” In wearing the brown scapular devoutly, in living in love and obedience to God, we join our hearts to Mary’s and thus, to her divine Son’s Sacred Heart as well!
You called St. Simon Stock to serve You in the brotherhood of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Through his prayers help us like him to live in Your presence and to work for man’s salvation. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."