Photo: romancatholicman.com No copyright infringement is intended
This little ‘cloth medal’ was given to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu (1817-1903) ten years after the apparitions of St. Catherine Laboure received the Miraculous Medal as a precious gift for the Church to give to anyone who would like to save the soul of their loved one. Miraculous cures have been attributed to it also. Spectacular cures!
I am compelled to write about this! It was an integral part of our nurses training. I was educated by the same order of nuns to which both Sister Justine and Sister Catherine belonged. Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul. Our nursing nuns wore the same habit. Almost. Our teaching nuns wore the winged bonnet called a coronet (crown)
Our hospital was located on the outskirts of Boston, Carney Hospital. Our nursing school was named Catherine Laboure School of Nursing. The name has been shortened now to Laboure College. In 1951 in Carney Hospital over each bed there hung a Crucifix on the wall. At eventide the Rosary was said by the student nurses ‘on duty’ that day … in accompaniment with the loud speaker system which broadcast the sonorous and booming voice of Cardinal Richard Cushing saying the Rosary.
I love the green scapular which we nursing students used to give to people!
Justine Bisqueyburu was born in Mauleon, France and lived with her mother’s sister. She entered the Daughters of Charity in 1837. Most of her work was in health care. She served in Constantinople. She was a deeply religious girl and a nursing sister whose heart was filled with compassion for her patients. Military doctors and officers esteemed her and she inspired complete confidence in all.
During the Crimean war in 1854 she was devoted to nursing of the wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Florence Nightingale noted her and decided that she would like to endow her country with an institution like that of the Daughters of Charity.
During her retreat in preparation for her entrance into the Daughters of Charity, on January 28, 1840 Sister Justine was in the chapel at Rue du bac in Paris. While she was at prayer Our Lady appeared to her, dressed in a long white gown and a light blue mantle; her hair was not covered. She held the Immaculate Heart at the top of which were bright flames. Our Lady said nothing. At the end of the retreat Our Lady appeared again and the vision recurred five times during her novitiate. On each occasion, the vision was identical to the first; on each occasion Our Lady said nothing.
On September 8, 1840, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sr. Justine was at prayer and Our Lady again appeared to her. This time Our Lady held a green scapular in her left hand: a single piece of green cloth strung on green cords. On it was an image of the Blessed Mother as she had appeared to Sr. Justine, holding her Immaculate Heart in her right hand.
On the cloth’s reverse was a “heart all ablaze with rays more dazzling than the sun and as transparent as crystal.” The heart was pierced by a sword, surmounted by a gold cross and bore the words, in the shape of an oval, around the heart: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Sr. Justine heard an interior voice say that our Lady wished the scapular to be promoted widely as an instrument in the conversion of souls.
Ten years before this wondrous gift was given, Sister Catherine Laboure had received the Miraculous Medal with the same Immaculate Heart on the reverse. This happened in the same chapel.
Our Lady keeps reminding us, through the years of the age of Mary in which we live, that “in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Spoken by Our Lady of Fatima )
Conditions Required to Make the Scapular Effective:
Sister Justine did not understand what conditions were required to render this scapular effective. She begged the Blessed Virgin to give an answer. On September 8 1846 Our Lady appeared again, her hands filled with rays. Her instructions were as follows:
Paraphrasing: “That the scapular, not being like other scapulars, the habit of a confraternity, but just two holy pictures on a single piece of cloth and on a string like a medal, It suffices that it be blessed by a priest and worn by the sinner whom we wish to convert back to the state of grace. It may, unknown to him, be placed in his clothes or in his room. The prayer “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death”should be said by the person.
If the person in whose behalf this scapular is applied should not want to say it, then the one who makes use of or gives the scapular must say it in their place. The greatest graces are attached to its use; but these graces are more or less great in proportion to the degree of confidence which accompanies it”
The /words of Pope Pius IX by Father Borgogno, Procurator General of the Congregation of the Missions in a letter dated April 3, 1870
“Having spoken about the Green Scapular to the Holy Father, I related to him the details of its origin adding that particular graces of conversions among hardened sinners had been obtained by means of it. He asked if I had one with me. I answered in the affirmative and showed him one. The Holy Father took it, examined it attentively and said to me: “This is a beautiful and pious picture.” Then he added, “Well, what do you wish in this matter”? I answered “Nothing else than the permission for our Sisters, the Daughters of Charity, to make and distribute scapulars similar to this one, with the faculty of distributing them” Then he said: “I give full permission for that. Write to these good sisters that I authorize them to make and distribute them.”
One can obtain a free green scapular from:
The Fatima Center USA Inc P.O. Box 1470 Buffalo, N.Y. 14240-9935
For more information about the green scapular: https://fatima.org
I will also be glad to send you a free green scapular. Contact me @ : firstname.lastname@example.org