This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title “Commemoratio B. Marif Virg”to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226 The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock ; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title “Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo”. By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus . On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular ; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the “Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary “. The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular
St. Benedict of Nursia, Italy (A.D. 480-543), the twin brother of St. Scholastica, is considered to be the Father of Western monasticism, and his “Rule of St. Benedict” came to be the basis of organization for many religious orders (his own Order has its cradle at Monte Cassino, Italy, about 80 miles South of Rome).
At any rate, in order to understand the symbolism of the Medal, you must know of this event in St. Benedict’s life: he’d been living as a hermit in a cave for three years, famous for his holiness, when a religious community came to him after the death of their abbot and asked Benedict to take over. Some of the “monks” didn’t like this plan and attempted to kill him with poisoned bread and wine. Just as St. John the Divine was miraculously saved from being poisoned, when St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over these things, he came to know they were poisoned, so he toppled the cup and commanded a raven to carry off the bread.
It is unknown when the Medal of St. Benedict originated. During a trial for witchcraft at Natternberg near the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria in the year 1647, the accused women testified that they had no power over Metten, which was under the protection of the cross. Upon investigation, a number of painted crosses, surrounded by the letters which are now found on Benedictine medals, were found on the walls of the abbey, but their meaning had been forgotten.
Finally, in an old manuscript, written in 1415, was found a picture representing St. Benedict holding in one hand a staff which ends in a cross, and a scroll in the other. On the staff and scroll were written in full the words of which the mysterious letters were the initials. Medals bearing the image of St. Benedict, a cross, and these letters began now to be struck in Germany, and soon spread over Europe. They were first approved by Benedict XIV in his briefs of 23 December, 1741, and 12 March, 1742.
FRONT One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend “Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus” (May we at our death be fortified by his presence).
BACK The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: “Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).
Special Graces and Indulgences Attached to the Medal
(1) All the indulgences that could be gained by visiting the basilica, crypt, and tower of St. Benedict at Monte Cassino (Pius IX, 31 December, 1877)
(2) A plenary indulgence on the feast of All Souls (from about two o’clock in the afternoon of 1 November to sunset of 2 November), as often as after confession and Holy Communion, he visits any church or public oratory, praying there according to the intention of the pope, provided that he is hindered from visiting a church or public oratory of the Benedictines by sickness, monastic enclosure or a distance of at least 1000 steps. (Decr. 27 February, 1907, in Acta S. Sedis, LX, 246.) Any priest may receive the faculties to bless these medals.
Medals Protections and Benefits
- To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences
- To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded, or tormented by evil spirits
- To obtain the conversion of sinners into the Catholic Church, especially when they are in danger of death
- To serve as an armor against temptation
- To destroy the effects of poison
- To secure a timely and healthy birth for children
- To afford protection against storms and lightning
- To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases.
How To Use The St.Benedict Medal
- On a chain around the neck
- Attached to one’s rosary
- Kept in one’s pocket or purse
- Placed in one’s car or home
- Placed in the foundation of a building
- Placed in the center of a cross.
- Place or bury a St.Benedict Medal in the four corners of your home for protection against home invasion.
My personal Experience with the St Benedict Medal
My mom always placed a St. Benedict Medal above each of the entrances of our homes and in each of the four corners of our property.There was alot of crime where we lived for a few years and every single house around us and for 2 blocks on our street was broken into and robbed except for our house.The people in the neighborhood couldnt figure out why we were never robbed even when we went on vacation and my mom wasnt shy about telling anyone who would ask that she had the St.Benedict medal to thank for this.Some rolled their eyes….(my mom was known as a religious fanatic in the neighborhood because of our statue of Mary out front and the 20 religious bumper stickers on our van)but some asked for St.Benedict medals to protect their home too.
There is a plenary indulgence today for anyone that recites “Veni Creator Spiritus,” the Hymn for Pentecost. This of course requires us to perform the Normal Conditions of an indulgence:
1. One is free from all attachment to sin
2. One receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (within 20 days either before or after today)
3. One prays for the intentions of the Pope (An Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)
Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest (Veni, Creator Spiritus)
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
Although little is known about Simon Stock’s early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning “tree trunk,” derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe. Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, and he helped to change the Carmelites from a hermit Order to one of mendicant friars. In 1254 he was elected Superior-General of his Order at London. Simon Stock’s lasting fame came from an apparition he had in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251, at a time when the Carmelite Order was being oppressed. In it the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: “Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.” The scapular (from the Latin, scapula, meaning “shoulder blade”) consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest, and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders. In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments. Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing; these consist of two pieces of material only a few inches square. There are elaborate rules governing the wearing of the scapular: although it may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, the investiture must be done by a priest. And the scapular must be worn in the proper manner; if an individual neglects to wear it for a time, the benefits are forfeited. The Catholic Church has approved eighteen different kinds of scapulars of which the best known is the woolen brown scapular, or the Scapular of Mount Carmel, that the Virgin Mary bestowed on Simon Stock. His feast day is May 16
The story below is true. It was originally published in a German periodical under the title of Seine Mutter Meine Mutter
My battalion was a member of the Irene Brigade. We were just about to advance. After we passed Eindhofen, our trucks and tanks went through Uden. In the evening we encamped on an old farm near Nijmegen. Behind the house there was an old wooden pump surrounded by bricks. This offered a fine opportunity for a soldier to wash away the sweat and dust of hours of fighting. You can well imagine that we made good use of this opportunity.
I was one of the group and so I tossed my jacket on the ground and hung my Scapular on the pump while I washed.
An hour later we received orders to proceed about a mile and a half further and to occupy a trench there. We were looking forward to being able to get a peaceful night’s sleep in that trench. I was about to lie down and was unbuttoning my collar when to my horror I realized that I no longer had my Scapular.
It had been a gift from my mother. I had it with me all during the war and now that we were approaching the lion’s den, was I to be deprived of it? To go fetch it was unthinkable, so I tried not to think about it any more and to go to sleep. I pitched and tossed from my left side to my right, but I could not get to sleep.
All around me, my fellow soldiers were sleeping like logs even though from time to time shells fell dangerously close. Finally I was overcome by the desire to get my Scapular back and I crept out among my sleeping companions.
It wasn’t so easy to get past the sentry but I managed to do it and ran back the way we had come. It was pitch dark, but nevertheless I had good luck and in a short time I was back on the farm and at the pump. My hands glided searchingly all over the pump but the Scapular was gone.
I was just about to strike a match when there was the sound of a dreadful explosion. What was I to do? Was that the sign of an enemy attack? As fast as I could, I ran back to our trench. Maybe I could do something for my friends there.
Near the trench I saw the engineers busily at work hurriedly removing piles of dirt and barbed wire. At the very spot where my companions had been sleeping there yawned a gigantic shell-hole. Before they had vacated this trench the enemy had placed a time-bomb in it and it had exploded during my absence. Nobody survived the explosion. If I had not set out to fetch my Scapular, I would have been buried under that rubble too.
He looked at me with astonishment and said, “I thought you were in that trench!”
I replied, equally surprised, “And I thought YOU were buried there!”
My friend continued, “I was lying in the trench, but before I went to sleep, I went looking for you. But I couldn’t find you. The corporal saw me hunting around and asked me what I wanted. When I told him what I was doing there he said, ‘Be sensible! Instead go to that inn nearby and get me a bottle of water:’ And while I was on this errand, the explosion occurred.”
I replied, “Well, I escaped it by a hair’s breadth too. But why on earth were you looking for me so late at night?”
“To give you this,” he answered, and handed me my Scapular which he had taken from the old pump.
“No one gives me a kiss of love on My face to make amends for the kiss of Judas”
“I firmly wish that My face reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honoured! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me.” -Our Lord Jesus to Sister Maria Pierina
Maria Pierina de Micheli was born on September 11 1890, in Milan, Italy and she was baptized at St. Peter in Sala’s church on the same day, with the name of Giuseppina.
Suffering came early for Maria Pierina as she had not yet turned two when her father died, leaving the family without his fatherly love and affection along with the sufferings of losing their main breadwinner.
Early visions of Jesus
At age 7 on May 3, 1898 she received Jesus in her First Communion. Recalling that day with holy joy many years later in 1943 she wrote- “I saw the baby Jesus in the host. Heaven on earth! Today, only by faith, I know he loves me.”
Then began a lifetime of heavenly graces and visions, along with many sufferings in union with Jesus. One day while she was praying in St. Peter in Sala’s church (her local parish), Jesus on the Crucifix came alive and spoke to her. On another occasion at the age of twelve, when she was again in her Parish Church during the 3pm Good Friday service, she heard a Voice saying quite distinctly:
“No one gives me a kiss of love on My Face to make amends for the Kiss of Judas.”
In her childlike simplicity, she believed that the voice was heard by everyone and was pained to see that only the wounds were kissed but not the face. In her heart exclaiming, “Have patience, dear Jesus, I will give you a kiss of love”, and when her turn came she lovingly and devoutly imprinted a kiss on His Face. And later as a novice, she was permitted to do night adoration and on the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and while she was praying before Jesus upon the Crucifix, she heard Him say: “Kiss Me.”
Sister Maria Pierina immediately obeyed and her lips felt not the contact with the plaster figure but contact with the living flesh of the Face of Jesus.
Becomes a religious sister as a Daughter of the Immaculate Conception of Buenos Aires
From a young age Giuseppina (Maria Pierina) felt called to be a religious Sister—a bride of Christ. In 1912, the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception came from Buenos Aires, Argentina and settled in Milan, not far from the house of the De Micheli’s family. On October 15, 1913, at the age of 23, Giuseppina was accepted by the founder of the Congregation, Servant of God Mother Mary Euphrasia laconis, and joined the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception as a Novice. On May 16, 1916 she made her profession and was clothed in the habit, taking the name of Sister Maria Pierina.
In 1919 Sister Maria Pierina was sent to the Mother House in Buenos Aires. On April 12 1920, when she was complaining to Jesus of one of her sorrows, He appeared to her covered with bloodstains and with a sorrowful and affectionate expression (which I shall never forget – she writes) telling her:
“And what have I done?”
Sister Maria Pierina understood and from that time the Holy Face of Jesus became her meditation book and the door to His Heart. She returned to Milan in 1921 and Jesus continued to grant her many favors, along with various sufferings that are always the lot of true Mystics.
In 1928, Mother Estanislada Tognoni was elected Superior General, but had to return to Buenos Aires. In the same year, Mother Pierina was appointed Superior of the Community of Milan, and then she was later re-elected in 1932 and 1936, and in September 1939, she was elected Superior of the Community of Rome.
Pierina recieves visions of Jesus requesting devotion to His Holy Face
As years went by, Jesus often showed Himself to her sometimes sad and other times bleeding, asking her for reparation, thus increasing her desire to suffer and to sacrifice herself for the salvation of souls. During the night adoration of the First Friday in Lent in 1936, Jesus, after letting her share in His spiritual sorrow of the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, with His Face covered with blood and profoundly sad, Jesus told her:
“I wish that my Face, which reflects the intimate sorrow of my soul, and the suffering and love of my Heart, be better honoured. He who contemplates me consoles me.”
On the Tuesday following Passion Sunday, Jesus returned to her and said:
“Each time my Face is contemplated I will pour my love into hearts and through my Holy Face the salvation of many souls will be obtained.”
On the first Tuesday of 1937, while she was at prayer, the Lord Jesus instructed her on the devotion to His Holy Face and, in the end, told her:
“Perhaps some souls fear that the devotion to my Holy Face may diminish that to my Sacred Heart. Tell them that, on the contrary, it will complete and increase it. Contemplating my Face, souls will share my sorrows and will feel the need for love and reparation. Is this not the true devotion to my Heart?”.
The Blessed Virgin Mary appears to Pierina requesting the Scapular-Medal of the Holy Face
These manifestations became more and more frequent and in May 1938, while Pierina was at prayer in the Community Chapel, a beautiful Lady, which she knew to be the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the altar step in a beam of light, holding a Scapular made of two small pieces of flannel joined by a cord. One of these pieces bore the image of the Holy Face of Jesus with the words “Iliumina Domine Vultum Tuum Super Nos” (May the light of Thy Face, 0 Lord, shine upon us) and the other, a Host surrounded by rays and the words “Mane Nobiscum Domine” (Stay with us, 0 Lord).
Gently the Lady approached and said:
“Listen carefully and refer everything to Father (her priest confessor); This Scapular is an armour of defence, a shield of strength, a pledge of mercy which Jesus wishes to give to the world in these times of lust and hatred against God and His Church. There are very few true apostles. A divine remedy is necessary, and this remedy is the Holy Face of Jesus. All who shall wear a Scapular like this and make, if possible, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday in reparation for the outrages that the Holy Face of my Son Jesus received during His Passion and is still receiving in the Holy Eucharist every day,
– will be strengthened in the Faith, and will be made ready to defend it,
– will overcome all difficulties, internal and external
– and they will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son”.
The request of Our Lady was increasingly pressing but Mother Pierina replied that it was not in her power to put it into execution. The permission of the one who guided her spiritual life and funds were necessary. The same year Jesus appeared again covered with blood and very sadly said to her:
“Do you see how I suffer? Yet, very few understand me. Those who say they love me are very ungrateful! I have given my heart as the sensible object of my great love to men and I give My Face as the sensible object of my sorrow for all the sins of men. I wish that it be venerated by a special feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.”
In 1939 Jesus said again:
“I wish that My Holy Face be honored in a particular manner on Tuesdays”.
Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli felt the desire of Our Blessed Lady more and more fervent. She obtained permission from her spiritual Director and although she did not have any financial means, she set about the task, as requested by Jesus and Mary. She obtained the permission of the photographer Bruner to take copies of the Holy Shroud as reproduced by him, and she received the permission to do so by the Archdiocese of Milan on the August 9, 1940.
Attacks by the Devil
Financial means were still wanting, but the faith of the Reverend Mother made up for it. One morning she saw on a little table an envelope: she opened it to find 11,200 Italian liras. Our Blessed Lady had seen to it. The devil, maddened at this, fell upon this soul to frighten it and prevent the distribution of the medals: he threw her down in the corridor and down the steps, he tore the images and pictures of the Holy Face, but she bore up everything. She tolerated and sacrificed all so that the Holy Face may be honored.
In the beginnning she was worried because she got medals made instead of the cloth scapulars because she felt called to do so. She turned to Our Blessed Lady to obtain peace of mind in the matter. On April 17, 1943 the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and said:
“My daughter, rest assured, the Scapular is replaced by the medal with the same promises and favours – it only has to be spread widely Now my heart is on the feast of the Face of my Divine Son. Tell the Pope that I desire this.”
She blessed her and then departed.
Thus began the spread of the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus and also the spread of the medal in its honor. Since then the devotion and the medal have been spread worldwide with much enthusiasm, accompanied all the while by wonderful graces, conversions and cures as a testament and heavenly sign of God’s institution and approval of both.
Her holy death
Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli’s motto was: “Give to Jesus; give everything; give always.”
Having given herself and her life completely to Jesus, at the age of 54 surrounded by her spiritual daughters, Mother Pierina joined the One Whom she loved on July 26, 1945, at Centonara d’ Arto (Verbania) at the house of the Holy Face.
“I felt a deep longing to live always united with Jesus; to love Him intensely because my death can only be a transport of love with my Spouse, Jesus.” -Words from the diary of Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli on July 19, 1941.
Sister Pierina was beatified on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome- the first beatification ever held within its walls.
Invocation-Prayer to the Holy Face of Jesus:
Oh Holy Face of my sweet Jesus, by that tenderness of love and unspeakable grief with which the Blessed Virgin Mary beheld Thee in Thy painful Passion, grant that our souls may share in that great love and great sorrow, and fulfill more perfectly the Holy Will of God. Amen.
-Imprimatur in Curia Arch. Mediolani on Jan. 25, 1941 -Mons. Cavezzali Pro Vic. Gen
More from her Diary: Her words, and some of Jesus replies:
“Do not deny anything to Jesus.”
“I want what God wants.”
‘Jesus I am yours, do what you want of me.”
Jesus said to me: “Only a few souls let me act with full freedom, so I cannot grant many graces.”
“This morning I asked Jesus His Heart to love it of His own love, and Jesus told me: “If you knew how I love you, you would die from joy.”
I said to Jesus: “Do you believe, oh Jesus, that I love you?” And Jesus replied: “Yes, I do. And do you know when I believe it the most? When you think I have abandoned you, because it is then that you most show your loyalty.”
“O, my sweet Jesus, for your Holy Face bathed with tears, may your Eucharistic Reign triumphs in the sanctity of your priests.”
“O, my sweet Jesus, for the divine light emanating from your Holy Face, dispel the darkness of ignorance and mistake and be the light of sanctity for your priests.”
“O my sweet Jesus, for your Divine Face bathed in a sweat of blood in the agony of Gethsemane, enlighten and strengthen the souls consecrated to you.”
“What matters is to love Jesus” -Words of Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli
“The Pardon Crucifix was introduced at the Marian Congress of Rome in 1904, with the support of his Eminence Cardinal Coullié, Archbishop of Lyon. It was through the discourse made to him by the Frs Lémann that the crucifix obtained general approval. The project of a union around this Pardon Crucifix was presented to His Holiness by the most Eminent Cardinal Vivès, president of the Congress.
“The historic and sacred inscription of the royalty of Jesus appears in inscription placed over the head of Christ [on this crucifix]. It is an irrefutable witness against the denials and audacity of impiety. There is preserved at Rome, in the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, the actual inscription of Golgotha recovered by St Helen. The written relic is not complete; there may have been a division, and also age has considerably reduced it. Two words, only two words shine forth, respected by time, Nazarenus Re, The Nazarene King. It is a prophecy written on wood: all royalties are passing, except that of the Nazarene.
“On the reverse of the cross, at the center, the Sacred Heart shines forth with two inscriptions recalling the tender mercy of the Saviour; one is a prayer of pardon, breathed forth in the agony of Calvary: Father, forgive them; the other is the prayer of love breathed forth against ingratitude, in the sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial: Behold this Heart which has thus loved men.
“Below, the figure of Our Lady surmounted by a star occupies the foot of the cross, which is truly the place of Mary. She stands there to say to every straying soul: ‘Do not forget the sorrows of your Mother’. She says, ‘I am the comforter’. Despair murmurs that it is too late; She says: ‘between late and too late there is an abyss, behold all the Blood of My Jesus, behold My motherly devotion for you’.”
~For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.
~Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: “Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me.”
~ Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
~Whoever at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.
To the faithful, who devoutly kiss this Crucifix and gain these precious indulgences, we recommend to have in view the following intentions: To testify love for Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin; gratitude towards our Holy Father, the Pope, to beg for the remission of one’s sins; the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory; the return of the nations to the Faith; forgiveness among Christians; reconciliation among members of the Catholic Church. By another Pontifical rescript of November 14 1905. His Holiness Pope Pius X, has declared that the Indulgence attached to the Pardon Crucifix are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.
The pardon crucifix is a powerful weapon for us to obtain indulgences not just for us for for all the souls in purgatory.If we assist them with our prayers and the indulgences gained by venerating this crucifix they will assist us with their prayers.It is highly recommended to wear this crucifix around your neck as it will be a defense against all the devils snares and constantly remind us to invoke its protection and graces often.
To order a pardon crucifix:
“AVE COR MARIAE”
“HAIL TO THE HEART OF MARY”!
The Green Scapular, called by Our Lady, “The Badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” was given to the world by the Blessed Virgin Mary through a series of apparitions to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, a Daughter of Charity, in the early 1840’s in Paris, France. On the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sept. 8th, 1840, the Mother of God appeared holding in her right hand her Immaculate Heart, mounted by flames and holding in her other hand a scapular.
The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady dressed in a long white gown, which reached to her bare feet. Over this, she wore a light blue mantle. However, she wore no veil. Instead, her hair hung loosely about her; and in her hands, she held her Heart from the top of which gushed abundant flames. Her bearing was enhanced by a majestic beauty, all heavenly. On the other side of the scapular was pictured her Immaculate Heart, all ablaze and transparent as crystal, with rays pouring out that appeared more dazzling than the sun. This Heart, pierced with a sword, was encircled by an inscription in the form of an oval and topped by a golden Cross. The inscription read:
“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.”
At the same time an interior voice revealed to Sister Justine that God desired to establish among mankind a more tender and confident appreciation and love of His Most Beloved Mother by means of devotion to her through the title of her Immaculate Heart. When invoked under this title and through this holy image, Our Lady would obtain great favors from her Divine Son, especially in the areas of physical health, peace of mind and spiritual conversion. She who is the Refuge of Sinners would particularly obtain the conversion of those who had fallen away from the True Faith, and those poor sinners who had no faith. Mary wanted copies of the scapular made as soon as possible and distributed with great confidence.
Unfortunately, there were many delays. Many were caused by the normal and even healthy skepticism of Sister’s superiors and the Church authorities. It takes the discernment of the Church to determine if these apparitions are from Heaven, hell or personal delusion.
Sister Justine suffered much during this time. Finally, after a thorough investigation and careful discernment, the local Bishop approved the apparitions and was ready to permit the spread of this new sacramental. Our Lady, however, had never been clear about certain aspects of this new devotion. Questions needed to be answered. What circumstances were necessary to make the scapular effective? Was there a special blessing for it? Was there a ceremony for enrolling persons in its use? Were there any obligations for those who used it? Was the scapular for use only by certain groups of people or in certain situations?
To resolve these difficulties it was decided that Sister Justine would ask Our Lady herself what God’s Holy Will was in these matters. Our Blessed Mother replied during an apparition on September 8, 1846 – exactly six years after her initial request for this “Badge of the Immaculate Heart”.Our Lady replied: This scapular is not like others (it is not the clothing-habit of a confraternity) but merely two holy pictures on a single piece of material. Therefore, no special formula is required to bless it or enroll someone in its use. It suffices that it be blessed by a priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession. If, on the other hand, the person is unable or even unwilling to wear it or carry it, it may even be slipped, unknown to him, into his clothes, bed, room, or possessions etc.
There is only one prayer that needs to be said, at least once a day: “Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” If the person who is the intended beneficiary of the scapular’s use does not say it, then someone else can say it in his place. The Green Scapular may be used anywhere, for anyone. The greatest graces are attached to its use, but these graces are more or less great in proportion to the degree of confidence of the person praying. This was the meaning of the different kinds of rays that fell from the Mother of God’s hands at the last apparition.
Has the Green Scapular devotion been very effective?
Favors obtained by invoking Our Lady under this title have been truly remarkable. There have been miracles of health, peace and conversion. At a major national medical center in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., two people were cured of fatal diseases, just a few days from death! Others were on the verge of suicide. Through the Green Scapular devotion, they were given the wisdom to understand why they were so miserable, and the strength to make the changes necessary to bring happiness and hope into their lives. Most importantly, there were truly wonderful graces bringing people in various circumstances to reconcile themselves to Jesus in the fullness of His Truth and grace. Family and friends, who had fallen away from the Catholic Faith, and even those who never had faith, came to embrace the Sacraments (sometimes after being away a lifetime). People involved in dangerous relationships saw their bad companions change for the better or leave the relationship. Work environments witnessed an increase of purity in speech, modesty in dress and charity in behavior.
The Testimony of Father Robert A. Macdonald, C.Ss.R. (1961)
“Let me tell you the story of how I discovered the Green Scapular. This is my only way of trying to spread a true and tender love of Her Immaculate Heart and of paying my debt to Her. Some years ago, before penicillin was in use, I was lying in a hospital very ill with pneumonia. I began to hemorrhage and the doctors decided to operate as a last resource. Then a little nun came into my room.Father, have you great faith in the Mother of God, especially in Her Immaculate Heart? If so, you can be cured.How, Sister?Through the Green Scapular.”
“What is that?Four years ago, Father, I was operated on for cancer. I was so filled with it, that they just closed me up and sent me away to die. Then I prayed to Our Lady of the Green Scapular; I grew tired of waiting to die and came back to work. I am cured, Father. Do you want me to give you a Scapular?Please, Sister.With that, she put one over my head. A feeling of tremendous confidence poured into me and the bleeding stopped. Two days later, in the X-ray room, they asked me when the hemorrhage had ceased. When I replied that it was a matter of a couple of days, they expressed great surprise.
You have a wound that is six months healed and there is no other mark.Today even the scars are gone. No wonder I speak of an unpayable debt to Her Immaculate Heart. Since then I have done everything possible to foster this devotion. To my great joy and amazement, those to whom I have spoken of the Green Scapular have become more zealous than I. Never have I seen the equal of the faith and confidence of these new apostles of Mary.
During May, I asked the rector of St. Patrick’s, Toronto, for permission to speak of it at the Wednesday devotions. I had a thousand Green Scapulars on hand, but no one thought that more than thirty would be asked for. The thousand were gone the first morning. The room where we distributed them was so jammed that I feared someone would be injured. The rest of the day, I was besieged on all sides for more. Foolishly, I showed the one I had for myself and it was quickly snatched from my hand!
Testimony of Rev. Leo Steinbach
When I first came in contact with this devotion, I read an explanation which seemed to give the impression that it was intended only for lax Christians. I thought it might be useless for me since I had very little contact with Christians, be they good, bad or indifferent. My contacts were mostly with Buddhists and Shintoists whom I was trying to christianize. However I put a few scapulars in my pocket and decided to try one out. That very day I went to a nearby hospital where I discovered a non-Christian woman patient who had been unconscious for 10 days previously. The doctor explained to me that she would very probably die within three days without regaining consciousness. He and a nurse escorted me to the room. I addressed the sick woman but she gave no indication whatsoever that she understood a word I was saying. Thereupon I took a green scapular from my pocket, applied it to her forehead and repeated the invocation, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”
And what happened? The woman immediately regained consciousness, joined her hands and very devoutly asked God to forgive her sins. I was amazed. The doctor and the nurse both non-Christians were also flabbergasted. I immediately instructed and baptized the dying patient that same day much to her joy. She remained perfectly conscious for three days more during which time she very devoutly received Holy Viaticum. She breathed her last while praying to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
News of this double miracle spread rapidly. People kept asking me for green scapulars and since I only had a couple dozen which I had received from an army chaplain and since I had no means of replenishing my supply, I started to lend my remaining scapulars with a proviso that they be returned after three days. I did this in order to help as many people as possible. Meanwhile a Catholic newspaper reporter helped me procure the necessary materials and we began making them. During the past 25 years we have made and distributed many tens of thousands to people living all over Japan. We have also sent quite a number to the United States, Brazil, Paraguay, Korea and Indonesia. A Catholic magazine here in Japan published an explanation of the green scapular about a year ago and we have been receiving requests daily ever since. On one single day we received 140 letters and we try to fulfill each request promptly. We never charge for them nor do we ask for postage. However we have never been in debt. Grateful people send us donations which cover the cost of materials and postage.
It is edifying to read the letters of gratitude. Many people report spiritual blessings and there have been miraculous cures too of almost every type of human ailment including blindness, deafness, cancer, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis etc. Luke-warm Catholics and non-Catholics seem to receive more favors than good practicing Catholics.
An 80-year-old non-Christian lady said she would like to visit the church in her vicinity but she was unable to walk because of arthritis. Every winter both her ankles and wrists were swollen and very painful. She was given a green scapular which she applied daily but since she could not remember the prayer she merely asked the Mother of Christ for help. Within a few days she was completely cured. After a brief instruction and Baptism, she attended mass daily and always received Holy Communion. She kept up this habit for two years until she was called to her reward. During this interval she converted her aged friend who lived just across the street from her home and she had the happiness of being her godmother. Her good husband, a staunch Shintoist, also treasured his green scapular but no one could induce him to become a Christian. However, just three days before he died, he had a change of heart. He died very happily after receiving the sacraments.
The owner of a fleet of 60 taxis in Kyoto asked his pastor to bless his vehicles on New Year’s Day, whereupon he presented each of his drivers a new green scapular. He encouraged them, although they are non-Christians, to recite the prayer at least once a day. During the year there were just a few bent fenders but there were no accidents that caused a personal injury. The Blessed Mother is never invoked in vain. Her prayers are powerful. Japanese “kamikaze” drivers moving at a high speed in all kinds of weather, day and night, are very grateful to their Protectress.
Testimony of a religious sister and Green Scapular Devotee
With this in mind, when I heard of the great need in which two souls found themselves, I had recourse to the intercession of the Immaculate Heart. It concerned a young man, just married. About a month into his marriage, he fell ill with pneumonia from which he recovered, more or less, though only for a short time. Two or three months later, he caught a viral infection in the brain, which did not leave him much hope of survival, and his state became increasingly fragile. It is not difficult to imagine the consternation and the pain of his young wife, who had not known, until then, that the real cause of his condition was AIDS, and that it was possible that she was infected with it.
Since the man’s condition was already very bad, a priest was brought to him who, as is usual, offered him the Sacraments of Confession and Extreme Unction – the Sacrament of the Sick. Knowing his culpability, he refused them although he was still capable of confessing his sins.
Shortly afterwards he lost the use of speech. His exterior comportment manifested clearly the state of his soul, filling his family and all who saw him with deep pain. Expressions of panic, terror and despair passed across his face, a true interior martyrdom at seeing himself face to face with death and with a conscience soiled by the double sin of what he had done to infect himself with this frightful illness, and the crime of not having warned his spouse, living with her the normal life of a married man whilst putting her life at risk as well.
It was then, when I had learned of all this, that I had recourse to the intercession of our gentle Mother and her Immaculate Heart, making greater use of prayer and using the GREEN SCAPULAR, known also as the SCAPULAR OF THE IMMACULATE HEART. I have complete confidence in this miraculous scapular because, besides having been given to us by the Blessed Virgin herself, it works miracles through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart which, as we know, is the devotion DESIRED BY GOD for our times.
Even though I did not doubt its efficacy, I nonetheless asked for it to be applied as quickly as possible to the sick man.
Since there was a delay in doing this, I wrote to the young wife insisting strongly that it be placed by him as soon as possible, adding, “don’t be surprised if you see miracles” since I had already asked for them from Our Lady, saying to her, “I know that you always hear me, my gentle Mother, and I do not doubt your intercession, but permit that this time I ask you for a miracle that may be shown to others. I know that the GREEN SCAPULAR does not fail if it is used with confidence in the humble instruments of salvation given to us by your maternal Heart. For this, for the glory of God and your Immaculate Heart, and for the salvation of many souls, grant me this miracle of conversion, so that I may be of use to him and that poor souls may be encouraged to be confident. If you so wish, pay a visit to this poor son of yours, but in such a way that the others realize what is happening and that you are there.”
Shortly afterwards, I had some news.
The sick man became very ill, having vomited and been in great agitation. The priest was again called in, who this time placed the GREEN SCAPULAR on him and gave him Extreme Unction – the Sacrament of the Sick. With this, the man fell peacefully asleep. During the night, he woke up. He seemed very happy, his eyes were luminous and fixed on a precise point in the room, he seemed to be speaking with someone since he answered questions (something he had not been able to do for some time), sometimes, he smiled or wept with great emotion. His mother and sisters (people very far from God) who were present realized that something supernatural was taking place, even though they could see nothing, and they too wept with emotion.
After all this, the state of the sick man, particularly the state of his soul, changed completely. There was no longer the former terror or panic visible in his face, but rather a great peace and happiness. His health, even though not entirely restored, was much better. The attitude of his mother and sisters was completely different; now they prayed willingly, made sure his scapulars were well arranged, etc. When his wife learned of what had happened, she was entirely convinced that Our Lady had come to visit him.
Later on, she asked the sick man: Did Our Lady come to see you?
Yes, he replied with an expression of happiness.
Are you going to get better?
No, he added, but also with an expression of tranquility. He wanted to say what Our Lady had said to him, but he could no longer speak. Just from time to time he could be heard saying things like, “be strong”, “the grace of God”, etc.
My letter finally reached the woman the day following all these events (I had told no-one of my prayer to Our Lady), and she was able to tell me afterwards: “You told me I must not be surprised if I see miracles with the Green Scapular. I believe the miracle has already taken place, not so much in his body as in his soul.” Let us pray that, after a good preparation, his soul goes and unites itself with God and contemplates for all eternity she who granted him the great grace of conversion and peace of soul. Immaculate Virgin, may this account be for the greater glory of God and your glory; and by confidence in the marvellous intercession through the GREEN SCAPULAR, may many souls be saved.
Interested in joining Our Lady’s mission and saving souls through the Green Scapular?Join the Society of the Green Scapular today!
The Society’s members are asked to spread awareness and use of the Green Scapular. There are no quotas. There is no pressure to get others to join. As each member prays for, and obtains, favors from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, their fervor to be more active apostles of this extraordinary gift from Heaven will grow with their confidence. The following summarizes what members are asked:
1. Learn about the Green Scapular.
2. Give Green Scapulars to those in need of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
3. Teach others about the Green Scapular and Our Lady’s Society of the Green Scapular. Encourage them to use the Scapular, give it to others, and consider joining the Society.
4. When you Pray for your own Green Scapular intentions, also include those of all the other members and of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
5. Grow in Personal Holiness. satan told St. John Vianney that if there were just a few more souls like St. John at that time, hell would lose its grip on the world! The Church and the world are in desperate need of real Saints – and Jesus and Mary want to help you become the Saint that you were created to be!
St. Catherine of Siena said: “If you are what God created you to be you will set the whole world on fire!”
At Fatima, Our Lady promised: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” The goal then, of this society – The Society of Her Immaculate Heart – is to assist the hastening of the day of the complete victory of Mary’s Immaculate Heart when She will crush the head of satan – the ancient enemy of God and humanity – and then reign triumphant with Her Son Jesus Christ.
To enroll oneself in the Green Scapular Society:
Send a request specifying the name, address, phone number, and email of each person to be enrolled. Families may be enrolled under a single address, but specify each name. A welcome packet will be sent explaining the Society and its benefits in detail. People should only be enrolled as members with their knowledge and consent.
SOCIETY OF THE GREEN SCAPULAR
P.O. Box 2284
Front Royal, VA 22630
To purchase green scapulars: