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Catholic Dictionary




The pious belief, approved by the Church, that the Blessed Virgin would be specially propitious to those who have worn the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and observed certain other practices. Specifically, Pope Paul V in 1613 authorized the following decree to be published: "It is permitted to the Carmelite Fathers to preach that the Christian people may believe that the Blessed Virgin will help by her continued assistance and her merits, particularly on Saturdays, the souls of the members of the Scapular Confraternity who have died in the grace of God, if in life they had worn the scapular, observed chastity according to their state of life, and recited the Office of the Blessed Virgin or observed the fasts of the Church, practicing abstinence on Wednesdays and Saturdays." There was an earlier version of the Sabbatine privilege that is now considered certainly erroneous, based on an alleged bull of Pope John XXII, supposedly published in 1322. This apocryphal document has the Pope say that Carmelites and others who wear the scapular would be delivered by the Blessed Virgin from purgatory on the Saturday after their death.