Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception
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This devotional scapular traces its roots to Venerable Ursula Benincasa, who founded the Roman Catholic Order of Theatine Nuns. This scapular must have a blue woollen cloth and on one side bears a symbolization of the Immaculate Conception and on the other the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Members of Ursula Benicasa's order would wear a blue scapular habit in honor of the Immaculate Conception. According to legend, Ursula Benicasa had a vision in which Jesus promised great favors for her order. She then begged Jesus for the same graces for all other faithful who would devoutly wear a small sky-blue scapular in honor of the Immaculate Conception and to secure the conversion of sinners. She stated in her autobiography that Jesus granted her petition and she began to distribute these small blue scapulars, after they had been blessed by a priest.
In January 1671, Pope Clement X approved the blessing and investing of this scapular. Several years later, Clement XI granted specific indulgences for the wearing of this scapular and succeeding popes increased the number of such indulgences.
The confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and Mother of God Mary was erected in 1894 in the Theatine Church of S. Andrea della Valle at Rome and was granted various indulgences. It later became an archconfraternity so that it could grant indulgences to other confraternities. According to the statutes of the archconfraternity, admission is effected by the blessing and investing with the Blue Scapular, the presentation of the small chaplet of the Immaculate Conception, and the enrolling of the name in the register of the confraternity. However, the number of the members of Theatines have decreased over the years.
The Blue Scapular is also included in the Fivefold Scapular. The Fivefold Scapular is made of five of the most popular scapulars sewn together on the top and connected to a single shared string.
- Veny-Bellester, A., Ursula Benincasa o una experiencia de Dios, 1967
- Fr. Adam Boniecki Article on the Blue Scapular
- "Scapular". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
Several scapulars may be attached to the same pair of strings or bands; each scapular must of course be complete, and must be attached to both bands. In many cases the five best-known of the early scapulars are attached to the same pair of bands; this combination is then known as the "fivefold scapular". The five are: the Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity, that of the Carmelites, of the Servites, of the Immaculate Conception, and the Red Scapular of the Passion.
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