In 1830, when Saint Catherine Labouré was greatly blessed by the Most Holy Presence of Our Lady Queen of Heaven and the Gift of the Miraculous Medal was given, Our Lady promised that all who made pilgrimage there in Faith would receive great graces through Her intercession with Her Divine Son. In the same Chapel nine years later, another great blessing was given to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, that of the Green Scapular. Justine Bisqueyburu was born on 11th November 1817, in the village of Mauleon in the lower Pyrenees. She spent her early years with her mothers' sister and at the age of twenty-two joined the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. The Motherhouse of the Order was in the Rue du Bac in Paris. Shortly after her arrival she received a most special blessing. On 28th January 1840, while making her entrance retreat, and while praying in silence in the convent Chapel, she was greatly blessed to receive the Most Holy Presence of Our Lady. The Blessed Queen of Heaven was robed in a long gown of white silk that reached down to Her feet, which were uncovered. Over the gown was a mantle of pale blue. Her hair was not covered by a veil. In Her hands She held The Immaculate Heart, from the top of which issued dazzling flames. The Mother of God said nothing. This vision was repeated at the end of Sister Justine's retreat and on another five occasions during the course of her novitiate. On each occasion, the Blessed Virgin said nothing and the vision was as before. After her first Profession of Vows, Sister Justine was sent to the town of Blangy to work with the Sisters of her Order there. Shortly after her arrival the Sisters gathered together to celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this feast day of the birth of the Mother of Our Lord, Sister Justine was in prayer, meditating upon the feast day and the Lady in whose honour it is celebrated. She saw again The Blessed Mother of God. This time, however, the vision was different. The Blessed Virgin was dressed as before in a gown of white silk covered by the pale blue mantle, and in Her hands, She held Her Immaculate Heart, the most intense and dazzling flames issuing from it. In Her left hand, She held a Scapular. The Scapular was made of a single piece of cloth strung on green cords. It bore an image of The Blessed Virgin as She had appeared in the earlier visions, holding Her Immaculate Heart in Her right hand. Sister Justine looked on the reverse of the image, and saw " a Heart all ablaze with rays more dazzling than the sun and as transparent as crystal. " The Heart was pierced by a sword and was surrounded by words in the shape of an oval surmounted by a Cross of gold.
"Immaculate Heart of Mary pray for us, now and at the hour of our death" As Sister Justine looked at this vision, an inner voice told her that this Scapular of The Immaculate Heart was to be an instrument in the conversion of souls, particularly of disbelievers and by this Scapular the Blessed Virgin would obtain for them the Grace of a happy death in the Friendship of God. She was advised that Our Lady desired that this Scapular be promoted far and wide so that souls might seek these particular Graces through its devout use. Ever humble and prudent, and distrusting of herself, Sister Justine related this message to her Novice Mistress, her direct superior in the Order, but asked her to keep silence over this. However, she also asked if the Novice Mistress felt it necessary for the Spiritual Director to be told of what had occurred. On a further two occasions, this vision of the Green Scapular was repeated to Sister Justine and she realised that she should speak of it to her Spiritual Director. The Priest responsible for her spiritual direction was Father Aladel - and unknown to Sister Justine, he was intimately involved in the promotion of the Miraculous Medal being also Spiritual Director of another Sister in the Order - Catherine Laboure. Much testing and prudent discernment followed, which caused a delay in the making and distribution of the Green Scapulars. In subsequent visions, Our Blessed Lady spoke of the time being taken to have the Scapular made and distributed. Finally, the Scapulars were produced and the Sisters began to distribute them throughout Paris and then all over France and beyond. To this end, the Sisters had received the formal approval and encouragement of His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, in 1870. Sister Justine retained a veil of silence about her great blessings and spoke of them only to those who were directly responsible for her religious training. Justine was a humble and obedient servant, faithful to the Rule, obedient to those in authority and compassionate to those who needed assistance. After the completion of her religious training she worked quietly in a number of hospitals run by the Sisters across France, and was later remembered as being a diligent, capable, compassionate and gentle Sister. The Green Scapular may be worn, carried on one's person or retained amongst one's belongings. The prayer given on the Scapular should be prayed daily. The particular Graces of this Scapular are those of a deepening of devotion to The Immaculate Heart of Our Lady and of conversion of hearts and souls. Through the devout use of this Scapular, such Graces have been given to many. "Immaculate Heart of Mary pray for us, now and at the hour of our death"