The profound devotion Pope John Paul II had for the Mother of God was certainly no secret as he bore witness to it daily throughout his entire life.
What may not be as well known is his lifelong fidelity to wearing the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel even though are many photos testifying to it (See below). even (or maybe especially) to the point of death.
So important was the scapular to Pope John Paul II that even at the point of death he had the presence of mind to insist that it not be removed. On the day an assassin’s bullet struck the Holy Father wounding him critically, he was rushed to the hospital and, as Father Mariano Cera, a Carmelite priest, told Inside the Vatican magazine,
“Just before the Holy Father was operated on, he told the doctors, ‘Don’t take off the scapular.’ And the surgeons left it on.”
It was May, 13, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
One of the British tabloids reported on the story referring to the Scapular as the ‘Catholic version of a rabbit’s foot’ which gave opportunity for the story of the Scapular to be told again to a world in need of it’s benefits.
Twenty years later, on the 750th Anniversary of the Bestowal of the Scapular, Pope John Paul II, sent a message to the Carmelite Order telling them,
“I too have worn the Scapular of Carmel over my heart for a long time! Out of my love for our common heavenly Mother, whose protection I constantly experience.”
In his message can be found a clear explanation of the Scapular and all the benefits and graces afforded those who wear it.
“The sign of the Scapular points to an effective synthesis of Marian spirituality, which nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother’s loving presence in their lives. The Scapular is essentially a “habit”. Those who receive it are associated more or less closely with the Order of Carmel and dedicate themselves to the service of Our Lady for the good of the whole Church Those who wear the Scapular are thus brought into the land of Carmel, so that they may “eat its fruits and its good things” (cf. Jer 2: 7), and experience the loving and motherly presence of Mary in their daily commitment to be clothed in Jesus Christ and to manifest him in their life for the good of the Church and the whole of humanity.”
“Therefore two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular: on the one hand, the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life’s journey, but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory; on the other, the awareness that devotion to her cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honour on certain occasions, but must become a “habit”, that is, a permanent orientation of one’s own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In this way the Scapular becomes a sign of the “covenant” and reciprocal communion between Mary and the faithful: indeed, it concretely translates the gift of his Mother, which Jesus gave on the Cross to John and, through him, to all of us, and the entrustment of the beloved Apostle and of us to her, who became our spiritual Mother.”
Read entire message here: https://bit.ly/2OtBK9h