The Brown Scapular is a sacramental, made of wool. It represents a brown apron worn in the Middle Ages, indicating that we belong to and work for a particular person, in this case, Mary the Mother of God. Although the Carmelites still wear the full length version, it has been shortened to a small square of wool connected by string and worn over the shoulders for those not in the Carmelite Order.
The person enrolled in this sacramental receives the blessing and thus can replace the worn scapular without re-enrollment or blessing. Of recent times Our Lady of Fatima restored a great devotion to this sacramental, asking all her devotees to wear it as a pledge of fidelity to her.
When Our Blessed Mother gave the scapular to Saint Simon Stock, General of the Carmelite Order, in 1251, she gave this promise with it: “Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”
It has been the tradition in the Church to enroll First Communicants in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular; however, enrollment may take place at any time. In addition to the tremendous promise mentioned above, the faithful are granted the Sabbatine Privilege which assures their release from Purgatory on the First Saturday after death. During life, such a devotee of Our Lady is marked as her faithful client and entitled to innumerable graces and blessings. It is not a talisman of good luck, however. Those wearing it should do so conscientiously and reflect the behavior of faithful members of the Church.