Devotional scapulars are objects of popular piety, primarily worn by Roman Catholics, as well as some Anglicans and Lutherans, designed to show the wearer's pledge to a confraternity, a saint, or a way of life, as well as reminding the wearer of that promise.
The original scapular was large piece of brown cloth worn over the shoulders of monks. With the passing of time, the faithful gave other symbolic meanings to the scapular.
The scapular is not a lucky charm; it is not a rabbit’s foot, horseshoe or magic lamp. Rather it becomes a sign of our salvation if we draw close to the Mother of God, open our hearts to the special heavenly graces that she offers and give ourselves to her protection.
How to Use the Scapular: Rules for Wearing a Scapular
Once you have your scapular it is important to have it blessed by a priest. Once you have your scapular blessed, it must be worn at all times in order to share in the indulgences and privileges of the particular scapular.
Should your scapular wear out, you may replace it with a new scapular.
By the wearing of the scapular, we express our commitment to be disciples of Christ, and following the example of Mary, we learn:
- To be open to God’s will.
- To listen to the word of God, and put it into practice.
- To pray at all times, as a way of discovering the presence of God in all that is happening around us.
- To share in the paschal mystery of Christ by means of voluntary penance.