IT WILL SERVE AS THE UNIFORM WHICH CONSTITUTES US EXTERIORLY AS MARY’S ELITE TROOPS
Eugene’s diary entry notes:
It is appropriate to recount here the privilege granted to our congregation by our Holy Father Pope Gregory XVI, in regard to the scapular or little habit of the Holy Virgin, decreed by the general chapter of 1837.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 20 August 1843, EO XXI
The 1837 General Chapter had asked that a cloth scapular of the Virgin Mary be given to every Oblate on the day of his perpetual oblation. This custom continues today, except that the cloth scapular has been replaced by a medal of Mary Immaculate.
I have had a copy made of the rescript which authorizes superiors to bless the scapulars of the Immaculate Conception which the Chapter of 1837 adopted… This hidden apparel, which will be your own, must be dear to all the members of the Congregation. It will serve as the uniform which distinguishes us from the simple servants of Mary and which constitutes us exteriorly as her elite troops. On the day of oblation, it will be blessed solemnly just like the cross and placed momentarily on the soutane of the new Oblate. After the ceremony, he will hide it under the soutane, taking care to let the two pendants fall one on the chest and the other on the shoulders.
Letter to Father Jean Baptiste Honorat, 18 August 1843, EO I n 24
The meaning of the scapular continues to be expressed today:
We shall always look on her as our mother. In the joys and sorrows of our missionary life, we feel close to her who is the Mother of Mercy. Wherever our ministry takes us, we will strive to instil genuine devotion to the Immaculate Virgin who prefigures God’s final victory over all evil. CC&RR Constitution 10
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