See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ex-voto

Public thanks.
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There used to be a custom, and it may still exist, where persons who received favors from saints published their thanks in the newspaper. This practice is another form of ex-voto, or thanksgiving expressed through small paintings illustrating the favor, along with the use of milagros - stamped metal effigies depicting hearts or legs or arms, and so on - posted at shrines. This tradition extends back to ancient pagan times, in fact, I own a small terra-cotta Etruscan ex-voto; it happens to be the head of a female deity, from pre-Roman times. (Shown above, mounted upon a wood base. Yes it is authentic.) Anyway, Cathy of Alexandria posted an ex-voto to St. Jude on her blog the other day, and her post impressed me deeply.
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I have never cultivated a devotion to St. Jude, but I decided to make a novena anyway, simply on the testimony/witness of Cathy's post - which in effect, is an ex-voto - a published thanksgiving for favors received. Voila! I immediately understood the the good effects of a person publishing an account of graces received through prayer. It inspires devotion and prayer, and instills confidence in God's goodness and mercy.
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Likewise, I gained new appreciation for those bloggers who give an account of their conversion or style of prayer or good works, even what they do for Lent. Souls need genuine hope and encouragement, as well as witness to the truths of the faith; and most of all, people need to know we actually live in relationship with Jesus Christ, his mother and the angels and the saints - as well as one another. Anyway - this is my ex-voto - Thank you St. Jude for favors received - and thank you Cathy for publishing your account.

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4 comments:

  1. ex-voto - I didn't know about that. Thanks - I love learning new things!

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  2. Ter: You are the only one who picked up on the fact that it was my ex-voto as is traditional to St Jude.

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  3. You are cool. No, wait you are hot! Oh, you know.

    ReplyDelete


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