Ask your Catholic friends what a scapular is, and you'll get a variety of responses.
"It's a sacramental that comes with promises."
"You wear it to show devotion to Mary."
"One of those things on strings."
"Doesn't it have something to do with your shoulders?"
All these responses are accurate. But let's unpack them a bit to increase our understanding of this sometimes misunderstood devotion.
In contemporary usage, a scapular (from the Latin for "shoulder blade") refers to a sacramental object, made of two small panels of woven wool (the required material), each roughly two by three inches, and connected by a loop of string. The scapular is worn with one panel resting over the breast and the other in approximately the same position on the back.