Mary, St. Simon Stock And The Scapular

teresa-of-jesusCarmelite Habit with Scapular or Apron

Our Lady Gave St. Simon Stock The Camelite Privilege of the Scapular.

Later Carmelite writers give more details of such a vision and revelation. Johannes Grossi wrote his “Viridarium” about 1430, and he relates that the Mother of God appeared to Simon Stock with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words: “Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur” (This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved). On account of this great privilege many distinguished Englishmen, such as King Edward II, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, and many others of the nobility secretly work (clam portaverunt) the Carmelite scapular under their clothing and died with it on. In Grossi’s narrative, however, the scapular of the order must be taken to mean the habit of the Carmelites and not as the small Carmelite scapular. As was the custom in medieval times among the other orders, the Carmelites gave their habit or at least their scapular to their benefactors and friends of high rank, that these might have a share in the privilege apparently connected with their habit or scapular by the Blessed Virgin. It is possible that the Carmelites themselves at that period wore their scapular at night in a smaller form just as they did at a later date and at the present time: namely, in about the form of the scapular for the present third order.SL34br If this is so they could give laymen their scapular in this form. At a later date, probably not until the sixteenth century, instead of the scapular of the order the small scapular was given as a token of the scapular brotherhood. Today the brotherhood regards this as its chief privilege, and one it owes to St. Simon Stock, that anyone who dies wearing the scapular is not eternally lost. In this way the chief privilege and entire history of the little Carmelite scapular is connected with the name of St. Simon Stock. There is no difficulty in granting that Grossi’s narrative, related above, and the Carmelite tradition are worthy of belief, even though they have not the full value of historical proof (see SCAPULAR). That Simon himself was distinguished by special veneration of and love for the Virgin is shown by the antiphonies “Flos Carmeli” and “Ave Stella Matutina”, which he wrote, and which have been adopted in the breviary of the Calced Carmelites. Besides these antiphonies other works have been incorrectly attributed to him. The first biographical accounts of Simon belong to the year 1430, but these are not entirely reliable. However, he was not at this time publicly venerated as a saint; it was not until 1435 that his feast was put in the choral books of the monastery at Bordeaux. It was introduced before 1458 into Ireland and, probably at the same time, into England; by a decree of the General Chapter of 1564 its celebration was commanded for the entire order.  

The scapular (from Lat., scapula, shoulder) forms a part, and now the most important part, of the habit of the monastic orders. Other orders and numerous religious congregations (both male and female) have also adopted the scapular from the monastic orders. It is usually worn over the habit or soutane.

Description. It consists essentially of a piece of cloth about the width of the breast from one shoulder to the other (i.e. about fourteen to eighteen inches), and of such a length that it reaches not quite to the feet in front and behind. There are also shorter forms of the scapular. In the middle is the opening for the head, the scapular thus hanging down from two narrow connecting segments resting on the shoulders. Originally the longitudinal segments of cloth were connected by cross segments passing under the arms — a form which exists even today. In former times also two segments of cloth hung over the shoulders, which they covered, and thus formed a cross with the longitudinal segments over the breast and back

1914 Catholic Encyclopedia