What is an Ex- Voto?


 This morning I mentioned to French Boyfriend that I was going to list this vintage print in our etsy shop. He said to be remember to mention that it is a ex-voto. I said bien sur, of course I would say this whilst at the same time thinking he uses these words a lot and we have seen many in Churches that we have visited that are near the sea and yet I have no idea as to how this expression came about...

A quick search on the internet and here is the history of ex votos, for those of you that want to know more about them....

An ex-voto is an offering made to God, to the Virgin Mary or to a saint in request of a grace or in thanks for a favor obtained. It is brought to a church or a revered place. The term "Ex-voto" is an abbreviation of the Latin expression "ex-voto suscepto" which means "according to the wish made". This practice has existed since the Phoenicians and when Christian civilization takes the place of the pagan world, it adapts customs to its dogmas and exploits them in turn. These objects can take many forms: anthropomorphic plaques to recall the healing of a sick organ or limb, crucifixes, paintings, objects evoking a profession or the subject of a prayer

In the regions crossed by the Loire, the ex-votos deposited by the sailors are very frequent.

The marine votive offerings were often made on the occasion of a fortune at sea or on the river (boat lost in the storm, washed up on rocks or sandbanks…). When the sailor finds himself in peril in the face of raging elements or in a theater of war, he devotes himself to Notre Dame, usually that of his village. It is for this reason, he offers her on his return, "as a thank you according to the wish made", a replica of a boat, a diorama, a painting, even a part of the ship (buoy, anchor ...) or quite simply a line or a line. This is how chapels and churches inherited ex-votos that sailors or their families make themselves or order from artisans when it comes to paintings.

So now you know what an ex-voto is and the history surrounding them.

Belle semaine and stay safe ♥♥ Leeann




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