What is the Green Scapular?
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 Bisqueyburo, 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 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. The Society of the Green Scapular was formed specifically because of the incredible miracles obtained from Our Heavenly Mother during a brief six-month period. There were 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.
These miracles and others are reported in the Society’s newsletter.
What are the obligations of the Society’s members?
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, Pray also for all the Green Scapular intentions of all the other members of the Society.
5. Grow in Personal Holiness. satan told St. John Vianney (patron saint of parish priests) that if there were just a few more 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 God wants to help you to be one!
What are the goals and purpose of the S.G.S.?
The Society of the Green Scapular exists to promote:
1. The knowledge, awareness and use of the Green Scapular. This sacramental was given to the Church by God Himself to foster a deeper appreciation and love for His Mother throughout the world, and greater confidence in her unique ability to obtain the greatest favors from Her Divine Son
2. Devotion to Jesus and Mary, especially under the title of their “Sacred and Immaculate Hearts”
3. Personal holiness, especially of its members. To this end the Society distributes materials to, and through, it’s members that explain and promote the Green Scapular, devotion to Our Lord and Our Lady, and the benefits to be gained thereby. The Society provides Green Scapulars to all who ask, encouraging them to distribute the scapulars generously and promote its use with great confidence.
Finally, Our Lady stated that the favors she will grant are limited only by the confidence of the people asking for them. An important aspect, therefore, of this Society is that all members are encouraged, whenever they pray for the persons and intentions associated with the Green Scapulars they have personally distributed, to pray for all the Green Scapular intentions of the entire society throughout the world. We have already seen truly wondrous miracles because of the prayers of a relatively small number of people. There is no limit to what Our Lady can obtain from Our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Society grows with faithful members.
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 that ancient enemy of God and humanity (Gen. 3:15) and then reign triumphant with Her Son.
How do I obtain Green Scapulars or send in prayer requests for the Society newsletter?
To request prayers especially for a person or intention, send in all appropriate information. People do not need to be members to request prayers or be prayed for. For Green Scapulars, request as many as you need. We ask only that you use all of them and not keep them unused in a purse or a drawer. Some send an offering to offset costs or help the work of the Society. Others send a thanksgiving donation instead, after obtaining their request. While donations are always appreciated they are never necessary.
How do I enroll in Our Lady’s Green Scapular Society?
Send a request specifying the name, address, phone number, and email (if applicable) of each person to be enrolled. Families may be enrolled under a single address, but specify each name. A welcome packet will be sent to each address explaining the Society and its benefits in detail. People should only be enrolled as members with their knowledge and consent.
Should I report any favors obtained by this devotion?
Please report all favors obtained. They might be used, with your permission, in the Society’s newsletter and/or other materials. Please be exact with details (i.e. names, dates, places, medical information if applicable, etc.) if you are reporting a favor obtained. Complete confidentiality will be respected if you desire it, but all facts should be reported clearly.
All Donations are gratefully accepted and eternally rewarded!
Please send all requests or favors obtained to:
SOCIETY OF THE GREEN SCAPULAR
P.O. Box 2284
Front Royal, VA 22630