The Sabbatine Privilege

Cáceres Cathedral, Cáeres, Spain

During the Middle Ages some in the Carmelite Order claimed that Pope John XXII had issued a bull a papal proclamation to the effect that the Virgin Mary would rescue from Purgatory all who wore the brown scapular marking them as affiliated with the order. Supposedly she would rescue such persons on the first Saturday of their stay in Purgatory. (Saturday in Church Latin is Sabbatum, hence the name of the privilege.)1

In modern times, the bull is universally recognized to be apocryphal. But this painting, perhaps from the baroque era, takes it as genuine. Dressed in the Carmelite habit, Mary grants the souls the scapular that assures their release from Purgatory.

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For more about the scapular, see St. Simon Stock.

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

1 Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "Sabbatine Privilege."