Thursday, January 12, 2012

Favours received...Ex Votos

I'm quite certain that many posts have been circulating the web about ex votos for the last few years.
I was vaguely aware of them and what they were, but never really became interested in them until this fall during my trip to Italy. At the giant outdoor antique market in Arezzo it was one of the first things that caught my eye shortly after entering the grounds, actually the first stall of interest for me.

Ex votos originated in Italy during the 15th century and are devotional objects offered as a symbol of thanks for prayers that have been answered. Grazie Ricevuti, or thanks for grace received. 
It is a custom in France, Spain and Mexico as well. 

The one above, that I purchased, caught my attention because of the lovely M in the center of the heart.

Obviously, it stood for the name of the donor, Maria, which was written on the back in a hand written script, with the date and year of the graces received.

...beautifully tarnished with a lovely, vintage patina....

...with the face of a beautiful putti at its base....

This lovely one with my initials, given to me as a gift, makes me feel protected, and filled with the energy of friendship....


You may remember, I decided to display it on my tree this was perfect.

Religious symbols are emerging more and more in our lives, both as collectibles and affirmation of beliefs
and sacred traditions which are very personal and unique to the individual.  I see them as symbols of gratitude and beauty.

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  1. They are beautiful Nella.
    Hope you're enjoying the snow...
    Take care.
    Susan x

  2. I just discovered them too a couple of years ago and just this Christmas found out from one of my customers that the M stands for Milagros. My hubbies old Spanish teacher:) I bought one because of the M for Maynard:) lol

    Just totally in love with yours.


    1. Carole, thank you for the info on the reasoning for the M, I will still think it was a personal find for me because of the M too, as you did!!N.xo

  3. Funny, I was in Arezzo 4 years ago at market specifically looking for ex votos and did not find a one...this one was surely meant for you to is so very beautiful...and the other with your initials...meant to thank you for the sweet blessing you are in my life. By the way...your name and link came up perfectly in your last comment. I clicked on it and got sent directly here...and Acorn Lane is always such a wonderful place to land. J

    1. Jermaine, I am still learning, as you know, and the market in Arezzo was so overwhelming, but worth the visit. The vision of all the vendor stalls positioned through the charming streets of the village will never leave me. N.xo

  4. Hi again Nella….I love ex votos as well and you have a lovely example. The M in the middle is actually A M, if you look right in the middle of the M you’ll make out the A. It stands for Ava Maria and they're actually French. Don’t you just love Italy?


  5. What a wonderful warming post. I have a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, these sacred hearts represent them. I put a tiny sacred heart on all my art projects. Lovely treasure cherish it, it comes with lots of age ole prayers. Kathy

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours! YES, we share many of the same ideas and decorating style. I love your blog! So glad you meet you! I'm your newest follower as well.


Thank you for visiting my blog..... I love to hear from you and appreciate every comment received! N.xo