At the sermon yesterday, Father mentioned that many scapulars are felt and not wool. Does anyone have both and can someone post a comparision of both?
The Brown Scapular of Mt. Carmel is granted a very powerful indulgence and power, more so than any other sacramental (scapular or whatever else). Once a Baptized person is invested with the Brown Scapular by a Catholic priest, he is a walking edifice (so to speak) of Scapular blessing, such that when his scapular wears out or is lost, all he has to do is get a replacement, even if he makes his own from brown wool cloth
, and by putting the scapular on over his head, the scapular becomes a blessed sacramental. He does not need to have the new scapular blessed by a priest. No other sacramental has this power.
But the material of the cloth patch of whatever size it is (some are only a half inch square but it's still a scapular) must be of 100% wool. Polyester, cotton, satin, silk, fleece, rayon, acetate, synthetic, nylon, or whatever you might dream up next, does not qualify. It must be wool. The scapular can have an image on it, a sewn message, the picture of a saint or some design or someone who is not a saint. To emphasize the unimportance of the image, my priest told us from the pulpit, We got a great deal on this bunch of scapulars I brought with me today, which have a picture of Hilary Clinton on them.
That got a big laugh..
I was a volunteer for a Juvenile Hall chapel visiting program, whereby we would go into the locked areas and talk one-on-one with the children prisoners there. We could bring rosaries, holy cards and brown scapulars. This was about 1992. One day, we were informed by the so-called chaplain (not a priest) that a new directive from Roger Cardinal Mahony had arrived, such that we could no longer distribute brown scapulars. The reason was that on the scapular it says that anyone who dies wearing this scapular will not suffer the fires of hell. Some of the children reading this came to believe that so long as they were wearing a scapular, they could go out and commit crimes or gang violence and they'd be immune from ill effects of their misdeeds. Therefore, in order to prevent them from engaging in related nefarious activity, the Cardinal's solution was to forbid the distribution of brown scapulars to the inmates. That'll teach 'em a thing or two! At the time it made me wonder: Is this what St. Maximilian Kolbe would have done? Is this the solution that Padre Pio would have suggested? Is this the kind of plan that the Cure of Ars would have dreamed up?
I don't think so.