Definitions for ex-voto

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Webster Dictionary

  1. Ex-voto(noun)

    an offering to a church in fulfillment of a vow

Freebase

  1. Ex-voto

    An ex-voto is a votive offering to a saint or to a divinity. It is given in fulfillment of a vow or in gratitude or devotion. Ex-votos are placed in a church or chapel where the worshiper seeks grace or wishes to give thanks. The destinations of pilgrimages often include shrines decorated with ex-votos. Ex-votos can take a wide variety of forms. They are not only intended for the helping figure, but also as a testimony to later visitors of the received help. As such they may include texts explaining a miracle attributed to the helper, or symbols such as a painted or modeled reproduction of a miraculously healed body part, or a directly related item such as a crutch given by a person formerly lame. There are places where a very old tradition of depositing ex-votos existed, such as Abydos in ancient Egypt.

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