About our Company, Sacred at Heart

sacred at heart ex votos

Sacred At Heart

Our objects are inspired by traditional ex-votos, coming from the Latin term “ex voto suscepto” which means “as a result of a wish.”

 An ex-voto is a material offering made to God in request of a grace or in thanks for a grace obtained.

The Latin term ex voto The Latin term ex voto (short for ex voto suscepto, "from the vow made”), has been a holy symbolic offering placed in a home, church, or shrine as a thanksgiving for a miracle received.  We found these delightful antique treasures while in France.  Their emotional, spiritual and historical appeal is so strong.  Not only were these original items beautiful, but meaningful.  

The premise of an ex voto is the vow, in a moment of hardship, crisis, or ill health, to give public thanks to God.  The ex voto, in turn, is the concrete testimonial of that vow’s fulfillment, an object that stands as the material representation of the miracle itself.   Ex votos are also offered in thanksgiving for unexpected miracles, in which case they function as public affirmations of God’s constant powerful presence in the lives of the faithful.   They are the ultimate outward expression of gratitude.

There are four types of Ex-Voto:

  • The “suscepto” ex-voto offered in gratitude to God or a person for a wish granted or a commitment made.  These would be left in a church after an answered prayer.
  • The “propiatory” ex-voto offered to solicit the grace or protection of a Saint, usually placed at a home altar, statue, or church.  Typically, a message is inserted in side with the prayer or the sentiment.
  • The “gratulatory” ex-voto delivered by simple gratitude, to a friend, loved one, or teacher.
  • And the "supererogatory" ex-voto are given and received in honor of a miracle.  These tend to be more grand, and are an outward, bold symbol of the incredible grace received.

The tradition of ex-votos (Italy and France) and Milagros (Spain, South America, and Mexico) has all but died in the 20th and 21st century.   We hope that this wonderful tradition can live on with our affordable but still beautiful reproductions.

Our reproductions are made of the same materials and craftsmanship as their predecessors.  Because they are made from hand from inexpensive materials, you will find that they are 'perfectly imperfect,' part of the past and current appeal of these beautiful items.  Enjoy!