I always carry the scapular

John Paul II about his service devoted to Our Lady of the Scapular.

I'm glad that I can share with you this service devoted to Our Lady of Beautiful Love. I always carry with me the scapular that I received from the hands of Father Sylwester on the day of my First Communion, and although I lived right next to the parish church, your church on the Górka has always been precious to me. Among many services that enchanted my soul as a child, I attended most ardently the novena prayer before the solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It took place during summer holidays, in the month of July. Those days, we didn't go on holidays, like people do today. I spent my holidays in Wadowice, so before I left my town I had never missed the afternoon services during the novena. Sometimes it was really hard to leave my colleagues and the refreshing waters of my beloved Skawa, but the melodious sounds of the carmelitan bells were so powerful, that they penetrated my very soul. And so I went. Oh, yes, I lived right next to the parish church, but I grew up in the church of St. Joseph (Spoken by Karol Wojtyła, just after episcopal consecration, during his visit to the monastery and Carmelite Seminar in Wadowice, Z Kroniki klasztoru (The monastery chronicles), compare Kalendarium..., pp. 163-164)

Ożomla. The carmelitan scapular distinguishes young Karol.

The scapular service was specially promoted by Pope John Paul II. When, due to a liturgical reform, the importance of Our Lady of the Scapular fell significantly, cardinal Wojtyła made the necessary steps in Poland and in the Holy See to return this salutary service to its rightful position. While he was still a vicar at the parish of St. Florian in Cracow, he organized special retreat for the sick, at the end of which he asked a carmelite to consecrate scapulars and present them to the sick who had been brought to the church. He supplemented Father Rudolf's preaching about the scapular with his own encouragement: ”Always carry with you the holy scapular. I always take it with me and the service has brought many graces on me”. These words lifted the spirits of the sick, who were very grateful. (Father Otto of the Angels) Let Our Lady of the Scapular, the Holy Mother from Mount Carmel always be with you, she, whose figures and paintings adorn the land of Galicia. Let her guide you like a star, which never disappears from the horizon. And in the end let her bring you all to God, the final Harbour, the final Haven for us all (Santiago e Compostela, 9.11.1982, A speech to the seamen, OR. 11.11.1982, p.2)

Young men wore shabby, denim army jackets, fatigue-caps and hobnailed shoes. During their work in the blazing summer sun, they would take off their jackets and leave only their trousers on. Karol Wojtyła would sleep on a bunk like the others (...), would wield his pickaxe and push a wheelbarrow. He always tried to fill the high norm. (...) But there was something that distinguished him from the crowd of bronzed young men: there was always a scapular on his neck. For some of his friends from Wadowice this was no surprise; they had noticed earlier, during gymnastics, that Karol wore a scapular. (...) And so Karol wore a scapular since he was eight years old (since the day of his First Communion). He belonged to the Holy Scapular Fraternity, which was run by the Wadowice carmelites. One of his friends, mgr Zbigniew Siłkowski, said: „He was the only one of us to sign up from the need of the heart, seeking the truth of life” (Gajczek Roman Antoni, Gajczak Roman Antoni, Sercu najbliższe. Szkice z lat młodzieńczych Karola Wojtyły - Jana Pawła ll, Cracow 182, pp. 65-68).




Copyright © 2006