Becoming invested in the brown scapular was just one step of the journey of my relationship with Our Blessed Mother. My husband has worn a scapular for most of his life, but for a long time, I did not understand the point of it – or of many of the sacramentals that I have come to appreciate in the years since my conversion to Catholicism in 2005. I recognized that wearing a piece of brown cloth on a string around your neck was not a “get out of hell free card,” but when I asked about it, it seemed to me that that was exactly what people were saying it was.
It was not until my own relationship with Our Lady began to develop on a more personal level after the death of our twin daughters that I began to understand the use of tools like the rosary and the brown scapular as signs to remind us of different aspects of our faith. I love the way that Kendra Tierney describes the history and wearing of the brown scapular on her website, Catholic All Year:
…the wearing of the brown scapular is understood to be an outward sign of an inward faith, and a desire to imitate and share in Carmelite spirituality, according to one’s state of life. If one lives a devout life, then yes, one is sure to be saved, but the brown scapular is a REMINDER of that, not the cause of it.https://catholicallyear.com/blog/the-brown-scapular-and-other-sacramentals-using-them-losing-them-not-confusing-them/
My own family was invested in the brown scapular in October of last year, and we have been wearing scapulars that we bought from Etsy since then.
To be honest, I found the scapulars to be itchy. Somewhat large rectangles of wool that fall right in the center of the chest and between the shoulder blades (places that tend to be extra-sensitive anyway), the scapulars we have been wearing have been rather irritating, and I just assumed that we were supposed to be offering that little bit of irritation up for the benefits of that small act of mortification. In short, I was treating my scapular like a hair shirt and assumed that was part of participating in this particular sacramental.
But I was wrong!
The brown scapular is not meant to be a penitential irritant! And I have finally found one that is not only very comfortable to wear, but is especially beautiful as well.
Scapulars.com has a goal of investing a billion people in the brown scapular so that they may participate in the blessings of this special devotion, and to this end, they sent me a scapular to try in exchange for an honest review. After having worn this one for over a week now, I have to say that it is much more comfortable than any other scapular I have worn (and I’ve worn scapulars from three different makers since our investment a year ago because the first one broke). In addition to being comfortable, their scapulars are very durable, and come with a 7-year guarantee against breaking.
I chose the cream and rose Pietà for myself, and I just love it. The brown wool on the back is made from soft merino, so it does not irritate or itch. As you can see from the photo, the scapulars are beautifully made, and each side has pockets for your favorite medals. The blocks of fabric are smaller than those on the other scapulars I’ve worn, and each order comes with a card containing the prayers of investment for you to bring to your priest so that you may be invested in the brown scapular if you are not already.
Scapulars.com offers discounts for large families, and for each scapular you purchase, they give one to an elderly person as part of their mission. And this week only (Cyber Week 2020), you can get 10% off all scapulars with the code CYBER10 and 20% off of orders of 10 or more!
If you are looking for a wonderful Catholic Christmas gift this year, or a gift for someone who may be making their First Communion or Confirmation, check out the beautiful scapulars at Scapulars.com!