Saturday, July 16, 2005


I was in the fourth grade in the spring of 1965, when our class was "enrolled" with the Brown Scapular. We were also given a "scapular medal" for when wearing a piece of woolen cloth around our necks was impractical. Since then, I have lost both the original scapular and the medal. But supposedly I'm still enrolled. By following the devotion properly (as opposed to simply wearing the object as a mere talisman), one is as a matter of pious belief, eligible for Our Lady's Promise: "...whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire."

This is of particular interest, as on this day the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is most admirably celebrated in villages throughout Italy, as well as in "Little Italy" neighborhoods throughout the USA. Perhaps the most memorable in America occurs every year in "Little Italy in the Bronx." As I understand it, the venerable statue of Our Lady is carried on a platform by the older boys of the neighborhood, and their participation in this ceremony serves as a manly rite of passage.

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