Talk:Rosary and scapular

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Terrific article! Amandajm (talk) 22:12, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. History2007 (talk) 22:13, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to rename article[edit]

There is already a good article for the Rosary, and there is an article on the Brown Scapular, and another for "Scapular". The content of "Rosary and Scapular" (new as of March 2009) draws heavily from both the Rosary and Scapular articles and attempts to make an argument for parallels or connections between them. The "Rosary and scapular" article was seemingly created in order to make a case for why these particular devotions should be practiced together, on the basis that the Fatima apparition instructed that this should be done, please see the first line of the article in which the creator of the article, History2007, quotes in bold from Lucia of Fatima "the rosary and the scapular are inseparable." He seems to me to be stating the motivation behind creating the article.

These devotions are optional to Catholics and can certainly be practiced separately or not at all, they have no unique connection to each other than they are both Marian and both sacramentals, and both are very common devotions. It is natural that they have often been spoken of together by Lucia of Fatima and others, however they do not constitute a unique and exclusive category. Therefore I think that a more logical and neutral topic category would be "Marian sacramentals" which could include other sacramentals besides the rosary and scapular, for instance the Miraculous Medal of St. Catherine Laboure. I wish to propose renaming this article "Marian sacramentals". Elizdelphi (talk) 21:17, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

No, I can not agree with those statements at all. In any case, this article was specifically written to address the connection between the rosary and the scapular and trace their joint histories. Hence adding other items is totally against the original design goals of this article. The article should remain as is. If you want to write an article on Marian sacramentals, by all means be my guest and do so, but those would run their own course. Rosary and scapular are by far the most widespread items, and have very specific histories and growth as the article illustrates. There already is an article on the miraculous medal, and the best way to address the issue will be to add a section called Marian sacramentals to the article on Sacramentals, which is low on content anyway. I just did that now that the issue popped up. History2007 (talk) 21:10, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I do not think it is particularly accurate to say that these things have joint histories; they do not seem inherently related in their development or practice (except obviously devotion to Mary and to Jesus). They were not developed by the same people or groups or for very similar or connected reasons (except obviously devotion to Mary and Jesus). It seems to me a stretch to say so. You (or Lucia of Fatima) may have the view that these things should be practiced both together, and indeed I also wear the brown scapular and pray the rosary, and I consider these wonderful things, and very good to practice both. However, that's not necessary, some people find other means of prayer more fruitful, and some people have no interest in wearing the brown scapular. And those can also be good and holy people devoted to Jesus and Mary (obviously I am stating personal views here and this is not neutral encyclopedic writing!).
It occurs to me to quote a wonderful reply Pope Benedict XVI gave last August to a priest who asked about traditional devotional things such as indulgences, blessings, sacramentals, Sacred Heart devotions, etc which this priest felt were important. He also mentioned his devotion to Fatima. You can read his question and the Pope's reply here. The Pope affirms the goodness of these devotional things but also points out that they are not "necessary" and directs everything to the person of Christ who is the ultimate and necessary object of all devotions:
"And so it is with other things. For example, the Friday of the Sacred Heart is something very beautiful in the Church. They are not necessary things, but have arisen in the richness of meditation on the mystery. So the Lord offers us these possibilities in the Church. I do not think that now is the time to enter into all the details. Each one can understand more or less what is most important and what is not; but no one should scorn this wealth, which has grown over the centuries as an offering and as the multiplication of lights in the Church. The only light is that of Christ. It appears in all its colors and offers knowledge of the richness of his gift, the interaction between the head and the body, the interaction between the members, so that we can really be together a living organism, in which one gives to all, and all give to the Lord, who has given himself completely to us." (the bolding is mine)
In other words, what is "most important" is Jesus Christ. Specific devotions are part of the riches and possibilities of the Church.
In Lucia's own life, the rosary and the scapular really were inseparable because God was calling her to be a Carmelite nun! However, I cannot find anything on the official Fatima apostolate websites that states that Sr Lucia claimed "The Rosary and the Scapular are inseparable" as words of Our Lady, for instance attributes these words to Lucia herself. It seems to be her own interpretation and opinion. In other words, is it possible that it is factually incorrect to state that Sr. Lucy attributed those words to Our Lady? Maybe your article should read something like ""The Rosary and the Scapular are inseparable" were words stated by Lucia Santos, one of the Fatima visionaries."
I apologize if my editing of links to "Rosary and scapular" seemed aggressive. I felt that logically these would be more helpful linking directly to "rosary" and "scapular" rather than to the "rosary and scapular" page which I think is about the relationship which you feel there is between these two things rather than being about them directly. Please pray for me, if you are a person of prayer. Elizdelphi (talk) 04:04, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, at the personal viewpoint level, we agree on several issues here. But the way Wikipedia works, our personal views matter not - as you also commented. What matters in Wikipedia are references. As it can be easily observed, this article is far more referenced than most articles in Wikipedia, in that it has references to specific page numbers in specific books for most sections and paragraphs. Within Wikipedia rules, fully and carefully referenced text is hard to dispute. And it is not just my view that Rosary and the scapular are related (my view matter not in Wikipedia) but references (such as Petrisko page 77, the 3rd reference in the article) which clearly refer to them as a package. Hence that overrides my view and yours (neither of which really matter in Wikipedia - sorry). Therefore, the article has established a link between these two sacramentals via published references in the opening paragraph. No one likes all the rules of Wikipedia, but we all have to live within that framework - and in the end, the system seems to work. You may be right about some specific clarifications about the opening sentence. In fact, after some careful searching it is really unclear to me if Lucia said that or Lucia said that the Blessed Virgin said that. I really think it could be either way, and there are sources that seem to imply it either way. So I will change the tone of that to be the less emphatic case of Lucia offering it as her understanding. In the process, I found a few other references too, and I will add them. The fact that these, as all sacramentals are optional, either jointly or individually, can also be added to the article, and I will add that just for clarification. I hope that will conclude this discussion. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 12:52, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes I think we do agree on very many things, and thanks for your graciousness and listening to my suggestions.
I looked at your references from the first paragraph. The Fatima Prophecies by Patrisko seems to mention the Brown Scapular only very briefly, describing it only as a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which is not illegitimate, but they don't seem to mention its history, nor the Carmelites whose habit it is, and with whom the wearer is affiliated, at all). Its mention of "a package of solutions" on p 77 is very brief and offers no elaboration on the theology. All sacramentals can legitimately be spoken of as "mystical weapons of defense" effective against the devil, "they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it" (from the Catechism), for instance St. Teresa of Avila very famously wrote in her autobiography about the power of holy water against the devil. The text of "Fatima in Lucia's Own Words" doesn't seem to be online, but based on her words about this which I have read it makes perfect sense to me that the vision relates first of all to Lucia's own calling to be a Carmelite (which not everyone is called to). The Real Mary by Ordaz seems to be an anti-Catholic book which briefly repeats traditional Marian beliefs (like the Sabbatine privilege which is still heavily promoted by and other Fatima devotees but is NOT approved by the Church nor promoted officially by the Carmelites today) and expresses contempt or derision toward them. This book is not an ideal reference for Catholic beliefs. I encourage you to dig deeper in your research if you want to strengthen this article and in particular go beyond the Fatima sources to good sources about the Rosary and the Brown Scapular. About the Rosary, there are many terrific spiritual books (for instance St Louis de Montfort's Secret of the Rosary, Romano Guardini's The Rosary of Our Lady etc), and also a ton of Papal documents that are ideal credible sources. About the Brown Scapular, some of the best sources are linked in the references on the Brown Scapular page and I am continuing to improve that article and add more references. You will find that the Carmelites love the Rosary but don't talk of it having anything specifically to do with the Brown Scapular except that Carmelites have a vocation of prayer and they pray the Rosary while wearing their habit, which is the Brown Scapular. And you will probably find that the Rosary books and documents mention the Brown Scapular only in passing, if at all. This is why I feel that it's a stretch to claim that they are strongly connected, except by both being Marian devotions. The most common place where you find the claim that they go together, is in the Fatima literature which quotes Sr. Lucia. So again, I think your challenge is to find other sources, for instance other saints who spoke of these two things together.
Someone you may want to know about is Bl. Isidore Bakanja, a native African who was martyred in 1909 for refusing to relinquish his rosary and brown scapular. He was a recent convert, a simple but devout man. His boss, a white farmer who was apparently very anti-Catholic, became irate and beat him severely. He died of his wounds a few days later, forgiving his murderer (and of course continuing to wear his scapular and pray the rosary). I have a couple of books with information on his life and am thinking of creating an article about him. He was beatified in 1994. Elizdelphi (talk) 20:53, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the info on Bakanja, etc. As far as Wikipedia goes, references are valid in the format I have used them, but of course I can look at expansions at some point. But again, we agree on several issues, and more can be done on many fronts. We agree on the importance of Montfort, etc. and in fact I had seriously expanded Montfort's own page [1], and built several Montfortian pages such as God Alone, Company of Mary, Marie Louise Trichet, etc. But you should also see my comment on the status of Roman Catholic articles. There are so many large gaps on this topic that time really has to be carefully allocated to work on the most glaring issues first. For instance, I built about 10 stub pages for various scapulars and they are all in need of expansion. So I think we should look at the larger perspective and improve the overall quality of RC articles, addressing the most pressing items first. Cheers History2007 (talk) 12:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's okay (Wikipedia-wise) to use the references you have, but (research-wise) they are truly not strong references, they make some simple assertions that are not backed up with good primary sources and corroboration. If you research the history (which I have spent a few days researching from the most authoritative sources I could find and you can learn about via the Brown Scapular article), you will find for instance that the prayer that has most strongly and frequently and closely been connected with the Brown Scapular isn't the rosary, it's the Little Office of Our Lady. Since the release of the new Breviary (the old one was complicated to use, and in Latin, so it was very hard for lay people to use it) around the time of Vatican II, the Church has expressed a preference for people to pray the Breviary in preference over the Little Office and so that particular connection is no longer current. In the current regulations for the scapular confraternity (approved in 1996), it's the Breviary (the Divine Office) which is emphasized moreso than the rosary, though the rosary is mentioned among several different choices of prayers one has an option to pray. The idea that "the rosary and the scapular are inseparable", is therefore not reflected in Church doctrine about the Brown Scapular--though that doesn't mean someone isn't allowed to have that opinion. I strongly suggest that either you or I should add this factual information from official Church sources in the "rosary and scapular" article.
I agree there's a ton of work that needs to be done on Catholic articles. I'm glad you are also working on that. I'm really interested in working on some of the Carmelite related ones since that is my interest area and is what I have a lot of information and books about. I am not knowledgeable about other devotional scapulars. Peace! Elizdelphi (talk) 16:08, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I added that the fact that Church doctrine does not formally include the link. I hope that settles this discussion. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 18:04, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


Hi again, thanks for the changes, I am looking at a book on the Rosary which speaks of the visions which St. Dominic was traditionally said to have had (though today it seems to be in doubt whether these were necessarily historical). It talks about St. Dominic and the Rosary and Our Lady ordering him to preach the Rosary. It also talks about the Dominican tradition of a vision which another Dominican of St. Dominic's time (Bl. Reginald of Orleans) had of the Blessed Mother showing him the white Dominican scapular and saying "behold this is the habit of your order." She also cured Bl. Reginald of a serious illness. More than a hundred years later, St. Catherine of Siena (a Third Order Dominican) wrote that God said to her "He (St. Dominic) was a light which I gave to the world by means of Mary placed in the mystical body of Holy Church as an extirpator of heresies. Why do I say by means of Mary? Because Mary gave him his habit--this office was committed to her by my goodness." The Dominicans to this day promote the rosary very much, and the Lay Dominicans (third order) use the small white scapular as their sign of membership; this site has some interesting insights on Dominican devotion to their scapular. The information about St. Dominic's visions is from The Rosary: "The Little Summa" by Robert Feeney which in turn got that from The Dominicans--a Brief History by John Rubba, O.P. Is it possible that Sr. Lucia was a little confused about these various traditions she had heard about--confusing the story about the giving of the Dominican habit, which would have been closely associated with Dominican stories about the Rosary, with the very similar one (most probably derived from the Dominican story) about the giving of the Carmelite habit? She was a child when this happened, so one would not expect her to understand clearly a distinction between these two religious orders. In her simplicity, she just knew about these Marian devotional objects, the Rosary and the Brown Scapular, and that there were stories about Mary giving them, without knowing clearly about their history or the differences between religious orders and their habits. She experienced, legitimately, that Mary was offering these things to her. But, much as I love the Carmelites, I don't think that every Christian is called to affiliate themselves with the Carmelites by wearing the Brown Scapular, just like not everybody is called to be affiliated with the Dominicans by wearing their white scapular. One reason the situation is different between these two scapulars, is that in order to facilitate local Brown Scapular confraternity groups (which mostly no longer exist) permission was given to ALL priests, not only Carmelites, to enroll people in the Brown Scapular. And perhaps because of that there has been a tendency for the connection with the Carmelite Order to be missed by many people who see it as a private devotion to Mary (though it also can have that dimension). To me this is all very interesting. Elizdelphi (talk) 16:19, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi, yes those are interesting facts and observations, specially the Dominican use of the Rosary and Scapular. I think we should do more research to find solid references that would make a case for that and then add that. Regarding the origin of the rosary, the rosary article has key dates that are interesting. But that topic is really subject to debate and what I think about it does not matter as far as Wikipedia is concerned, as usual. All we can say in Wikipedia is that there are differing opinions on that, since indeed there are. As for Sister Lucia getting confused, there is really no way to tell. And she is no longer with us to clarify anyway. In the Wikipedia context even if you and I are sure that she was confused, our opinions will amount to WP:OR, original research and can not be included. However, the Dominican issue does need looking into. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 06:47, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

What an imprimatur means[edit]

"The nihil obstat and imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the nihil obstat and the imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed." As samples of online sources for this often repeated official statement, see [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. An editor who fails to understand that an imprimatur given for printing does NOT imply that the giver agrees with the contents has insisted on putting in this article the statement "Cardinal Hayes of New York provided his imprimatur in support of these promises"! (talk) 17:24, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Please discuss this on the page for imprimatur, where it belongs not spread it over multiple pages. Hyperlinks in Wikipedia exist for the sake of centralized definitions. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 17:25, 30 April 2010 (UTC))
There is nothing wrong with the imprimatur article. There is something wrong with this article, and here, not in the imprimatur article, is the place to discuss what is wrong with this article. It is you who are spreading over multiple pages an unsourced and baseless claim that a Roman Catholic bishop who grants an imprimatur to a publication is thereby declaring his agreement with its contents. So please discuss the problem on the pages to which you have spread that claim. Your removal of tags that draw attention to the unsourced nature of the claim that you have kept inserting in various places is unjustifiable. If you had only taken the trouble to follow the hyperlinks to the imprimatur article you would see that that article declares unfounded your claim that a Roman Catholic bishop's imprimatur for a publication means agreeing with and supporting its contents.
So how precisely do you try to justify this claim of yours? (talk) 21:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)