The Green Scapular was twice approved by Pope Pius IX, in 1863, and again in 1870 when he said: "Write to these good sisters and authorise them to make and distribute it”
THE GREEN SCAPULAR
By Robert A. Macdonald, C.Ss.R.
Let me tell you the story of how I discovered the Green Scapular. This is my only way of trying to spread the true and tender love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and of paying my debt to her. Seven years ago before penicillin was in use. I was lying in a hospital bed very ill with pneumonia. I began to haemorrhage and the doctors decided to operate as a last resort. Then a 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.
"Through the Green Scapular."
"What is that?"
"Four years ago, Father 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, 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 haemorrhage 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." To-day 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.
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.
I was stunned at the response, I have no explanation of it. Certainly it was not due to the simple little sermon that I preached. I believe the explanation of it was given by a priest with all simplicity: "She wants her heart loved."
Those who doubted in the beginning are to-day the most devoted to the Green Scapular. They love to say the beautiful prayer which we learned from Mary's lips.
"Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death."
Toronto to-day is feeling the warmth of that Heart. A man who had refused for years to see a priest, remained adamant on his deathbed. One of the family brought a Scapular into his room, said the prayer twice and, suddenly, he begged for a priest.
The special grace that Mary obtains through devotion inspired by the Green Scapular is the grace of conversion. Mary wishes to bring her Son into the hearts of men; to give Him new birth in Souls, to restore the life of grace in careless hearts. Although there are many cures like my own, I repeat, her great desire is to revive and warm faith in her Son.
The Green Scapular is the story of Sister Justine Bisqueyburu. An orphan in early life she was adopted by a wealthy relative who left her his fortune. Her greatest day of joy was November 27th. 1839, when she entered the novitiate of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris. Her Sisters in religion are spread all over the world. There may be a house of the Community of the Daughters of Charity near to you.
Image of the IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY of Green Cloth
The Green Scapular or Scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is, like the Miraculous Medal, a gift of our Blessed Mother to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
On November, 27th. 1839, Justine Bisqueyburu, destined by providence to make known this devotion, entered the Seminary or Novitiate of the Daughters of Charity, 140 rue du Bac, Paris. On January 28th. 1840, during her first retreat, the young sister was favoured with a celestial vision. Our Lady appeared to her clothed in a long white robe over which hung a bright blue mantle. Her hair, which fell loosely over her shoulders, was not covered with a veil, and in her hands she held her heart from the top of which issued brilliant rays. To the dignity of her bearing was joined the dazzling brightness of celestial beauty. The young Sister, seized with admiration and fear could scarcely repress an exclamation.
The same apparition was repeated four or five times during her Seminary on the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin. This favour seemed to have no other end than to increase in the Sister herself tender devotion to Mary Immaculate.
Clothed with the habit, Sister Bisqueyburu was sent to Blagny and shortly after her arrival September 8th. 1840, feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, she was favoured during prayer with an apparition of the Mother of God, who held in her right hand her heart surrounded by flames, and in her left a sort of scapular, consisting of a single piece of green cloth suspended from a cord of the same colour. On one side was a picture of the Blessed Virgin as she had shown herself in the apparitions, on the other, a Heart all inflamed with rays more brilliant than the sun and clearer than crystal. This Heart pierced with a sword was surrounded by an oval inscription surmounted by a 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 the Sister the meaning of the vision. She understood that this new Scapular, through the medium of the Daughters of Charity would contribute to the conversion of those who have no faith, and, above all procure for them a happy death and that it should be distributed immediately with confidence.
For various reasons the execution was long delayed, in consequence of which the Blessed Virgin in several apparitions between 1840 and 1846 complained to the Sister. As obstacles were removed the Scapular was distributed, producing wonderful conversions and some bodily cures.
Among favours obtained are the following: A sick man, a declared enemy of all religion, was thrown into a frenzy by the mere sight of a priest. He accepted a Green Scapular on September 19th. 1842. Eleven days later, arising from dinner, he withdrew into a adjoining room. fell on his knees and took out his Scapular which he called an intermediary agent. Kissing it and bathing it with tears, he promised Our Lady to go to confession. The next day he received the Sacraments.
In 1844 a child of fourteen with depraved morals received the Scapular and in a few days his conversion was effected.
At Constantinople, a Greek schismatic was converted by the Scapular and also cured of a hideous leprosy. Many similar examples might be cited.
The manner of using the Scapular was indicated by the Blessed Virgin. Since it is not the badge of a confraternity but simply a double image attached to a single piece of cloth and suspended from a cord the formalities of a Scapular are not required for the Benediction and Imposition. It suffices that it be blessed by a priest. It may be worn round the neck, carried in a pocket, placed under the pillow of the bed or hung somewhere in a room. The only prayer to be recited is the inscription surrounding the heart on the reverse side of the Scapular, "Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death."
This should be repeated daily, if not by the one wearing it, by the one giving it. The Scapular may be distributed everywhere. Although wonderful graces are granted through Our Lady's intercession, they are proportionate to the confidence with which it is given, as signified by the rays of different length which in the last apparitions, issued from the hands of the Blessed Virgin.
An exact account of any conversion or cure which may be attributed to the Green Scapular should be sent to this office. All circumstances of time and place and persons should be given. Names should not be withheld under the pretext of humility, for there is the question of the glory of God and His Holy Mother.