The Venerable Servant of God, Father Casimir of St. Joseph Wyszyński (1700-1755) was the first Marian who approached the Theatine Fathers in Rome in 1733, asking for permission to bless and invest the faithful with the Blue Scapular. This permission was granted. Father Wyszyński probably wished to make the Blue Scapular and associated practices as one of the elements of devotion of the named confraternity. Since that time, members of the confraternity were registered in the Book of Confraternity maintained by many Marian churches. In time, confraternities of the Immaculate Conception existing at the Marian churches began to be known as “Scapular Confraternities.” Preserved Marian historical documents first mention an installation of the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception on June 26, 1734. They speak of the official introduction of the Confraternity at the Marian church in Puszcza Mariańska – the Order’s cradle.
Over the years, the Theatine Fathers several times renewed the privilege originally granted to Fr. Wyszyński in the first half of the 18th century. The Renovator and Reformer of the Marian Order, Blessed Archbishop George Matulaitis-Matulewicz, also petitioned the Theatines in Rome for a privilege of blessing and conferring the Blue Scapular, which was granted on December 1, 1911.
On June 3, 1992, Father Donald Petraitis, MIC, then the Superior General of the Marians, obtained for himself and his successors from the Superior General of the Theatine Order a perpetual permission to bless and confer the Scapular of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This permission was reaffirmed on March 19, 2005, and on July 1, 2008.
Thus, according to their centuries-long tradition, the Marians promote among the faithful the wearing of the Blue Scapular, which is an outward mark of devotion and veneration of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., by establishing numerous confraternities, which have been associated with the Congregation of Marian Fathers almost since the beginning of its history. Guiding the confraternities of the Immaculate Conception is one of the important ministries through which the Congregation spreads devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God and supports the souls in Purgatory, of whom the Immaculate Mother of Christ is a particular advocate.
Learn more about the history and spirituality of the Blue Scapular and Marian Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception: