The word scapular come from the Latin word scapula, which means shoulder blade. While originally, scapulars were a form of clothing worn by many religious communities, overtime, it has become increasingly popular with lay people. The Church has approved 18 different scapulars, all distinguishable by color, symbolism, and devotion.
This best known scapular is said to have come to St. Simon Stock during an apparition with the Virgin Mary, most commonly known as the brown scapular. During the apparition she said “Receive most beloved son, the habit of your order. This shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege that whoever died clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.”
Scapulars are visible signs of our salvation. It is a visible reminder of our need to draw close to the Mother of God and open our hearts to all the heavenly graces that she offers.