It’s not only the football that’s BROWN.

Authentic shoulder pads.


1680s, “pertaining to the scapula,” from Modern Latin scapularis, from Latin scapula “shoulder”.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to a Carmelite prior St. Simon Stock at Aylesford, England on 16J July 16 1251.

The Blessed Virgin promised St. Simon Stock that whoever would wear the Carmelite habit devoutly would receive the gift of final perseverance. ” “This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.””

The “habit” was taken to mean especially the scapular, a band over the shoulders falling front and back to one’s feet. Many orders have these are part of their habits. Eventually, smaller versions were adapted for lay people, who can be invested in the scapular.

Once you have been invested in the brown scapular (which any priest can do for you now), you need not have a replacement blessed. You can simply start wearing it. By all means get it blessed if you can, but it is not necessary to bless replacements when one wears out, as they easily do, being usually made of cloth.

There’s a certain morning prayer associated with the wearing and kissing of the Brown Scapular. Whether or not you are enrolled. You could use it on any day.

The Morning Offering

O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary [kiss the scapular], I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with it the offering of my every thought, word, and action of the day. O my Jesus, my desire today is to gain every indulgence and merit I can and offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!


PS: I had just tuned in about half way through the 4th quarter.  When I saw that scapular, I thought, “Hey, that’s a scapular.”  Clicking backward (for we are backwardists, after all), I confirmed what I saw and snapped a pic with my phone.  This pic I immediately posted as a response Michael Matt’s tweet about the kicker and… the pic is now making the rounds, which is a lot of fun to see.

I hope that it rouses curiosity about the Brown Scapular and other scapulars as well.  There are several different kinds.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Liz says:

    It’s so cool but not surprising; with Butker I’d rather expect that he would wear a scapular! So encouraging though! I pray for him and his family a lot. God bless him.

  2. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: cloth, I recently saw a young Hispanic boy wearing a leather version of the Brown Scapular, on some kind of leather cord. (Yup, talked to him and confirmed that’s what it was. Because I’m nosy; and because I think boys look gloomy these days, and need compliments or good notice from adults.)

    If people find the cloth scapulars wearing out too quickly, the stamped leather ones online seem pretty nice.

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