How are you commemorating the 100-year anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima? How about enrolling in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady?
By now, there’s not much that hasn’t been said about Fatima – and you’ll hear no complaints from me on that front! Let Our Lady’s message there resound, let her chosen shepherd messengers be venerated, and let the Church and the world heed the Virgin Mary’s warnings!
That is not to say we should be afraid or apocalyptic. It’s simply to say that if we look around and recognize the spiritual, ecological, political, economic, and social woes that afflict us… personally, our immediate lives and associations, and the broader and more distant world at large, who could argue that things are just dandelions and lollipops? It’s entirely rational and awake to acknowledge the wreckage around us. But it’s entirely CATHOLIC to remain hopeful about it all. Still, as much as I try – and get a little bit better every day, I hope – to be a grown-up in the crazy, chaotic world, I never stop longing for shelter and comfort.
That’s where Our Lady comes in.
Her requests at Fatima were for all men to consecrate themselves to Her Immaculate Heart, and to pray the Rosary, do penance and wear her Brown Scapular. By now, many of us may have come around to praying the Rosary more frequently – even daily, and I couldn’t recommend that more ardently! – but, meanwhile, the Scapular hasn’t gotten quite as much attention.
The final apparition of Our Lady at Fatima occurred on October 13, 1917. On that occasion, the Virgin appeared clothed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and she held in her hands the Brown Scapular.
“The Rosary and the scapular are inseparable!” said Sister Lucia, the longest surviving of the shepherd children visited by Our Lady of Fatima. “Our Lady wants everyone to wear it (the brown scapular); it is the sign of consecration to her Immaculate Heart.”
And some 700 years prior, St. Dominic, founder of the Dominicans (aka the Order of Prieachers O.P.) and propagator of the Rosary, is reported to have prophesied the following:
“To my Order, the Blessed Virgin will entrust a devotion to be known as the rosary and to your Order, Angelus, [a Carmelite] she will entrust a devotion to be known as the scapular. One day, through the rosary and the scapular, she will save the world.”
I am ready to admit the world needs saving!
So, along with friends and family, I will be enrolling in the Brown Scapular this weekend, after completing my first 33-day consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I encourage you, dear reader, to prayerfully consider what you can do to increase your devotion to Mary, especially in this important year. We are told by countless saints that devotion to the Blessed Mother is a sure way to holiness. I want holiness. God knows, and I admit, I have a long way to go and I need all the help I can get! What better time than now?
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