Historically, the devotion of the Scapular among the Catholic laity originated from the tradition of the Marian apparition and promise of the Scapular to St. Simon Stock. From about 1400, Carmelite authors allude to the wearing of the Scapular by the laity in reliance on the Virgin’s promise of eternal salvation. Carmelite authors of the fifteenth century begin to record a devotional view of the Scapular, insinuating its heavenly origin. According to Grossi (ca. 1411), Mary the Scapular to St. Simon Stock. According to Bradley (ca. 1450), in bestowing the Scapular Mary the Carmelite habit. Still later authors added new motives for the wearing of the Scapular by the laity. Calciuri (1461) alluded to miracles that had been worked through the Scapular; and Leersius (1483) added that the Scapular had been worn by saints. This tradition of the fifteenth century, which began to develop the devotional value of the Scapular and of its promise, culminated in 1479 in a work by Arnold Bostius, a Belgian Carmelite of Ghent. His manuscript work, formulated the solid basis of Marian doctrine on which the Scapular devotion was founded. Bostius explained how the Scapular promise of eternal salvation was a concrete illustration of the doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces.
The reception of the Scapular as the pledge of Mary’s promise of eternal salvation placed the obligation upon the members of the Confraternity to imitate Mary in her practice of virtue. Bostius’ work was popularized by John Paleonydor, a Flemish Carmelite, in a book entitled Published in 1495, the book was frequently reprinted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By the end of the fifteenth century, the theological structure of the Scapular devotion had been essentially outlined: its doctrinal foundation was the cult of Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces; its motive was the tradition of the apparition of Our Lady to St. Simon Stock with the promise of the Scapular.
Read more: Mary’s Scapular