Scapular of the Help of the Sick
Scapular badge of a confraternity associated with the Society of Saint Camillus, patron of hospitals.
In the Church of Saint Magdalen at Rome, belonging to the Clerks Regular of Saint Camillus, a picture of the Blessed Virgin is specially venerated under the title of Help of the Sick.
This picture is said to have been painted by the celebrated Dominican painter, Fra Angelico da Fiesole and before it Pope Saint Pius V is said to have prayed for the victory of the Christian fleet during the battle of Lepanto.
This picture suggested to a brother of the Order of Saint Camillus, Ferdinand Vicari, the idea of founding a confraternity under the invocation of the Mother of God for the poor sick.
He succeeded, the confraternity being canonically founded in the above mentioned church on 15 June 1860.
At their reception, members are given a scapular of black woollen cloth; the portion over the breast is a copy of the above picture of the Mother of God and at her feet are Saint Joseph and Saint Camillus, the two other patrons of the sick and of the confraternity.
On the small segment at the back is sewed a little red cloth cross; although this receives separate and special blessing for the sick, it does not constitute an essential portion of the scapular.
The scapular is the badge of the confraternity, which received its indulgences from Pope Pius IX in 1860, and from Pope Leo XIII in 1883; these were last ratified by a Rescript of the Congregation of Indulgences on 21 July 1883.
New Catholic Dictionary and Catholic Encyclopedia