In Hebrew, the mountain located in Eastern Israel where the Carmelite order started is called “Hakkarmel,” which means the garden and vineyard of the Lord. After some time, the mountain was called simply as “Karmel” and in Arabic, “Kurmul.” It is now known as “Jebel Mar Elias” or the Mountain of Elijah.
The New Testament did not mention anything about Mount Carmel but it is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament. Even during the early days the mountain is considered sacred by the Israelites, and even before the arrival of Elijah there is already an altar built in the summit to praise Yahweh. But this mountain was first popularized in the Book of Kings (1 Kings 18:17-40). This is where Israelites assembled when Elijah proved that Yahweh is the true God and now Baal who is the god of King Ahad and 450 prophets. Here, Elijah proved that God is the true God through fire. He challenged the prophets of Baal to simultaneously offer sacrifice. They all put firewood in their own altars for sacrifice. After they pour water in the altars they all put bulls to burn in their altars.
The scapular is a special protection from Virgin Mary to the Carmelites and to the one’s wearing it. It is a symbol of salvation. But it should also be noted that it is not similar to an amulet that when worn, the wearer will not be hit by bullets. Even if the scapular is worn, it is possible to be hit by bullets and die. It is not a magic that will directly send the wearer to heaven even if s/he has committed a mortal sin. But, according to experts, wearers of the scapular will surely believe in God and Virgin Mary and through this faith s/he will be able to obey the will of God. But in case s/he commits a sin, the Virgin Mary will help him/her to ask for forgiveness on the time of death, assuming no mortal sin was committed. Because of the scapular, the Virgin Mary will intercede to keep the wearer from being sent to hell. From this promise, the scapular spread throughout Europe in the 16th century and even the popes and saints wear the scapular.
But at present, only few people wear it because they do not know the importance of the scapular. To address this, the parish of Barasoain, when Msgr. Angelito Santiago, Jr. arrived as the parish priest on June 2007, he wanted to bring back the devotion and the wearing of scapular because this is a symbol and promise of salvation of Virgin Mary to the wearer.
From 2007 to 2008, the parish gave free scapulars to the churchgoers every 6:00 AM mass. On 2009, the parish also gave scapular to all masses on one Sunday; from 2007 up to the present every novena mass as preparation to the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel scapulars were also given to churchgoers. But to the wearers, they are reminded to pray the rosary every day, follow the will of God and to be pure-hearted in accordance to status in society to achieve salvation.