The Brown Scapular of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel is an outward sign that the Mother of God covers us with the mantle of her maternal protection because we belong to God through her.
This is what Fr. Rommel Rubia, OAR, newly appointed Local Prior of the community of San Sebastian College-Recoletos Cavite, said in his brief catechesis on the Brown Scapular at the Quirino Grandstand last May 4.
The talk was part of a series of activities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel to the Philippines with the third batch of Augustinian Recollect missionaries.
He said the Brown Scapular, like the Holy Rosary, is a gift by the Blessed Mother to her children not meant to be used as decoration.
“Every time she would give a gift, it is always for our salvation,” Fr. Rubia said. “And that is also the reason why she gave us this Brown Scapular: this is for our salvation.”
He said the scapular functions in the same manner as a wedding ring would. The wedding ring, he continued, is a sign of one’s commitment to someone and a reminder that one is already taken, especially when one is tempted to be unfaithful.
“That is how it is with the scapular also. It would remind us that we belong to God through Mary, that Somebody owns us,” he said.
This divine ownership is important, Fr. Rubia said, because the devil would remind man time and again that he is sinful and that he belongs to him ultimately.
“But that’s not true! The scapular would remind us that we belong to God through Mary,” Fr. Rubia said, adding that the devil, being the king of lies, would peddle only “fake news” — the fakest of which is that man belongs to him.
This reminder of man’s belongingness to God through Mary is the primary reason why the devotee should always wear the scapular at all times.
Fr. Rubia also explained the constitution of the scapular. He said the scapular is part of the clothing of the Blessed Mother, and as such, wearing it would mean that the devotee places himself under the mantle of her maternal protection.