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Catholic Activity: Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Teach children about the brown scapular and the promise to those who wear it.


On the sixteenth of July there is another chance for the children to ask why, and that is when they see the mother decorate Mary's picture. There is another touching story we can tell our children to make them understand how solicitous our heavenly Mother is for our eternal salvation. Once she appeared to another of her sons, St. Simon Stock, Father General of the Carmelite Order in England. She showed him the scapular, the straight piece of cloth falling down from the shoulders to the feet in back and front, with an opening for the head. This was a part of the clothing of men and women in the time and country of Our Lord. Mary said to St. Simon, "Whoever will wear this garment, and die clothed in it, I shall come myself and take him up into heaven on the Saturday after his death." This is known as the "Sabbathine Promise" and on the sixth of July we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (popularly known in Europe as the Scapular Feast). Simon Stock added the scapular to the habit of the Carmelite monks and nuns. For practical use among lay people it was cut down until it reached its present-day size — just two little pieces of brown cloth worn over the shoulders on white tape. One by one, as the children grow up, they will be enrolled in the scapular. What a consolation to parents and children if they know that their beloved ones, whom God called to Himself, died clothed in the scapular!

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955

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