Today marks the 750th anniversary of the death of St. Simon Stock to whom our Lady gave the Scapular with this promise: “Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” This is quite a promise. (It is also not alone among the great promises made by our Mother and our Lord). It also, unfortunately, is misunderstood by many people. There is a temptation to treat the Scapular like a superstition. One may think something along the lines of this: “If I’m wearing these two little brown squares when I die, I’ll not go to hell. It is guaranteed.” But the Scapular is not a talisman and grace is not magic. While the grace of God is free, there is no compulsion in our cooperation with it. To properly understand the Scapular promise – “Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire” – one must remember the words of our Lady in the above picture. The Scapular is a sign of our love and devotion to our Lady. Simply wearing the Scapular, however, does not make that a reality. So when we think of the Scapular and its promise let us think of the great love and solicitude that our Lady has for us. She is the Queen of Heaven for her Son is the King of kings. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit who dwelt within her as He did in no other or ever will again. She is the handmaid of the Lord and the daughter of Zion who continually shouts for joy for our salvation. To run to her is to run to the Lord for He is her everything, and there is nothing more that she wants than to unite us to Him and none can do this better. The Scapular is the garment of our Lady. To be clothed in it is to be clothed in her mantle. Whosoever dies wearing the Scapular upon their heart and not merely their breast shall not suffer eternal fire, but will have eternal life. Amen.