“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.” -Saint Dominic
CATHOLIC DOG TAG
“Dog tags” is an informal term for the identification tags worn by military personnel, because of their resemblance to animal registration tags. The tags are primarily used for the identification of dead and wounded soldiers.
In a sense, the Scapular Medal is our “Catholic Dog Tag.” The Brown Scapular, revealed to St. Simon Stock in 1251, was a way for us, upon our death, to be identified as a child of God. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel said,“This will be the sign of the privilege that I have obtained for thee and for the children of Carmel; whoever dies clothed with this habit will be preserved from the eternal flames.”
In 1910, Pope St. Pius X introduced a Scapular Medal which may be substituted in most cases for any of the various scapulars. Valid enrollment in the (cloth) scapulars must, however, be made before the substitution. The condition for this substitution is that this medal has an image of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Jesus Christ, showing His Sacred Heart, and the obverse that of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to Father John Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary the scapular medal may be worn for any reason even for reasons of convenience. The scapular medal has all the same indulgences that are associated with cloth scapular.
What makes this Four Way Scapular Medal one of the most popular is that this one medal combines the bulk of four medals into one convenient piece. Individually the medals would be heavy to wear and costly to buy, but together they form one simple pendant.
Wearing this is an “act of obedience.” This isn’t “hocus pocus” … this is our willingness to do it God’s way, even if that way is something the world may find foolish. Things like twiddling rosary beads. God has worked this way right from the beginning, when He said to Adam and Eve, “All but that one apple tree.”
The Sacred Heart Medal – During the 1600s Our Lord appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque. In His visits He made twelve promises to those who devote themselves to His Sacred Heart. The promises include special graces, peace, and blessings. This medal is also called a “Scapular Medal” when the image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is on the reverse.
The Miraculous Medal – During an apparition of Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830, Mary requested this special medal to be made. She said, “All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”
The Benedict Medal – (This medal is unique to this Four Way Scapular medal, as most do not have the Benedict Medal) There is indeed no medal that possesses such wonderful power and none so highly esteemed by the holy Church as the Medal of St. Benedict. Whosoever wears this medal with devotion, trusting to the life-giving power of the holy Cross and the merits of the holy Father St. Benedict, may expect the powerful protection of this great Patriarch in his spiritual and temporal needs. The medal is one of the oldest and most honored medals used by Catholics and due to the belief in its power against evil is also known as the “devil-chasing medal.”
The St. Joseph Medal – St. Joseph, chosen by God to be Christ’s earthly father, is known as the patron saint of many causes, including: workers, fathers, and unborn children. St. Joseph is also the Patron of chastity or purity. This is such a necessary Patron in our times.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – The Scapular was given from Our Lady of Mount Carmel to St. Simon Stock who was the Prior General of the order at the time of the revelation on July 16th, 1251. The Order of Carmel was enduring difficulties, and he prayed fervently to Our Lady for help. Our Lady appeared to him, holding the Brown Scapular in her hands, saying to him, “This will be the sign of the privilege that I have obtained for thee and for the children of Carmel; whoever dies clothed with this habit will be preserved from the eternal flames.”
Infant Jesus of Prague – The devotion to the Holy Child Jesus has long been a tradition of the Catholic Church. This devotion is a veneration of our Lord’s sacred Infancy. Many saints had a very strong devotion to the Divine Child, notably St. Therese of the Child Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Teresa of Avila. Devotion to the Divine Child was also a favorite of Mother Angelica. Many graces, blessings, favors and miraculous healings have been received by many who petitioned before the Infant Jesus.
Guardian Angel – A heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over each of us during our lives. The doctrine of angels is part of the Church’s tradition. The role of the guardian angel is both to guide us to good thoughts, works and words, and to preserve us from evil.
BLESSING OF THE MEDAL OF ST. BENEDICT
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response: Who made heaven and earth.
Priest: In the name of God the Father + Almighty, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father + Almighty, of His Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ Who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead.
Priest: Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless Source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of St. Benedict, Thou pourest out Thy blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform goods works be blessed by Thee with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy death, and remission of temporal punishment due to sin. May they also, with the help of Thy merciful love, resist the temptations of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in Thy sight. This we ask through Christ our Lord.
The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.
By Fr Richard Heilman