What is the Scapular of St. Michael the Archangel?
The very first scapular of St. Michael the Archangel was introduced in the 19th century at the Church of St. Eustace in Rome and belonged to the Brotherhood of St. Michael the Archangel, established in Rome on 30th August 1878. Unlike most scapulars, rather than being rectangular in shape, it was made in the shape of a shield. One side was navy blue in color, the other black, with these same two colors on the ribbons. Both ends of the scapular had a picture of St. Michael the Archangel killing the dragon and the words “Quis ut Deus”. Pope Pius IX gave this scapular his blessing, the very first scapular that was formally approved was the scapular approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1880.
Today the scapular of St. Michael consists of two layers of woollen cloth in the shape of a shield, hand-made by the Carmelite Sisters. When sewing each stitch, the sisters pray for each person who will receive the scapular. The material comes in two colours, black and navy blue. The black side has the image of St. Michael from the shrine at Mont Sant Angelo on Mount Gargano, the navy-blue side shows the image of Our Lady from Miejsce Piastowe, near Krosno, Poland (the motherhouse of the Michaelite Fathers).
The scapular of St. Michael the Archangel is an outward sign of entrustment to St. Michael and of belonging to the Michaelite family. It is worn in order to propagate the veneration of St. Michael the Archangel. People who have accepted the scapular are called to serve Christ and His Church in the spirit of the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel, as seen in its mottoes of, “Who is like to God?” and “Temperance and Work”. The section worn on a person’s back signifies an attitude of acceptance of Gods Will in bearing the crosses and difficulties of life. The front section of the scapular, worn on the chest, reminds us that our hearts should love God and our neighbour and that we should attempt to free ourselves from earthly attachments, and, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, strive to attain eternal goods.
Wearing the scapular should remind us of our Christian duties and of the assurance of St. Michaels intercession on our behalf. The scapular expresses our Christian faith that we will meet God in eternity, thanks to the intercession and protection of St. Michael the Archangel.
What role does the scapular play?
The scapular is an external sign of having chosen St. Michael the Archangel as our particular protector in the fight against sin and temptation.
The scapular is the uniform of the angelic army. In the same way that we recognize a soldier, police officer or priest by their clothing, so we can also recognize the Member of the Confraternity of the Scapular by the wearing of this sign.
The scapular as a garment and clothing is intended to protect the body. The scapular plays a similar role in the interior life: it protects us from every potential obstacle on the road to salvation, that is, from sin, from Satan and from hell.
The wearing of the scapular is a source of grace which assists us in making the sacrifices required to fight sin and to follow Christ.
The conditions of accepting the scapular
Upon receiving the scapular, you become member of the Confraternity of the Scapular: you belong to a family affiliated with the Michaelite Fathers, sharing in the merits of St. Michael the Archangel Congregation in life and in death.
Do you have more questions?
The purpose of receiving the scapular is to venerate Saint Michael the Archangel that trough his special help we might achieve:
- freedom, protection and development of the Holy Church
- the grace of a good confession for oneself and others, strength in the fight against addictions and defects, defence against heresies, mistakes and false teachings, the cessation of curses, blasphemies and mischiefs, and the conversion of all sinners;
- a spirit of gentleness and humility, and an increase in faith, hope and love;
- confirmation of God’s Kingdom in the world through the powerful intercession of Our Lady the Queen of Angels and Holy Angels;
- deliverance of souls from Purgatory by prayer and obtained indulgences;
- the grace of a good and holy death.
At the moment, you can acquire the scapular during the Peregrination of the Statute of St. Michael the Archangel. Check Facebook Events to find the one near you.
Yes, the scapular must be received in person. This is demanded by the seriousness of the sign itself as well as the desire to establish a personal relationship with Saint. Michael the Archangel.
Preparation should be expressed through a sacrament of confession, so that when receiving the scapular, you would be in a state of grace. This will enable the grace of God to work whitin the one entrusted to the protection of Saint Michael the Archangel.
The way one wears the scapular is a personal choice. Nevertheless, the participation in the graces associated with it requires acceptance according to an approved rite. Of course, anyone can wear the scapular medal and certainly Saint Michael the Archangel will accompany that person in life. However, participation in graces associated with the scapular requires a full form of acceptance of this sign. The rite of receiving the scapular was taken from the sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel on Mount Gargano, where it is celebrated as a form of sacramentals.
Yes, the scapular medal was approved on March 1, 2013 by the Rector Major of the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel as a replacement for the cloth scapular. The faithful who wear the medal participate in all spiritual privileges resulting from wearing the cloth scapular. The reception of the scapular is made by the imposition of a cloth scapular by a priest or deacon. However, you can replace it later with the blessed scapular medal.