ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Milagros (Miracle) Healing Charms

Updated on June 15, 2013

Power of The Milagros "Miracle" Charm

A milagro, (Spanish for "miracle") or ex-voto (from "my vow" in Latin) are small charms, generally made of gold, silver, copper or brass, which the faithful believe are endowed with spiritual powers, which when offered to a saint can heal and help preserve overall well-being. They are also given in gratitude for prayers fulfilled.

Milagros came into the new world with the Spaniards and are now used as symbolic decorative elements, as well as for meaningful spiritual gifts. For example, if a friend is about to have an eye operation, the gift of an eye milagro, is appropriate, or an arm and a leg given to a couple trying to buy a house can wish them good luck obtaining financing. The possibilities are endless.

Milagros then, are not solely religious items, nor are they only for collecting. They are part of a magical and symbolic past, and are an ongoing part of a fascinating folk culture which continues to influence our lives today.

The History of The Sacred Milagros

The small Milagros charms, often depict arms, legs, praying people, farm animals and a wide range of other subjects. They are typically nailed, pinned or hung from ribbons on crosses, altars, shrines or sacred objects. They are also carried, worn or pinned on clothing for protection and good luck.

Milagros of animals often are used to ask for help healing sick livestock or to ask for fertility; a Milagros of a body part, such as an arm, might be used to ask for the healing of an associated illness, such as arthritis. Similarly, a heart might represent a heart condition, or prayers for love.

In Mexico, the use of Milagros are often connected with a common practice, known as a "Manda". This where a person will ask saint a favor, and then, in order to repay the saint after the favor has been granted, makes a pilgrimage to the saint's shrine, and leaves a Milagros with a small written prayer of thanks.

Healing Prayer Charms and Boxes - Millagros charms

22K Gold Plated Pewter Dia De Los Muertos Sacred Heart Milagro Pendant Charm 22mm (1)
22K Gold Plated Pewter Dia De Los Muertos Sacred Heart Milagro Pendant Charm 22mm (1)

Helps heart attack recovery, prevents high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and promotes love.

 
Sterling Silver Spiral Of Life Healing Hand Charm
Sterling Silver Spiral Of Life Healing Hand Charm

:Helps heal arthritis, a broken hand, and loss of finger(s)

 
Milagros Cross Pewter Pendant on Corded Necklace
Milagros Cross Pewter Pendant on Corded Necklace

In religion and art, the cross is the richest and most enduring of geometric symbols, taking many forms and meanings throughout history. It is both the emblem of the Christian faith

 

Common Mexican Milagro Icons and Meanings - Religious Symbolism

HEARTS

These can represent the human heart, or may be connected with the worries over a heart condition. They might represent the love that one person feels for another. They can also represent the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Sacred Heart of Mary.

EYES, DOUBLE EYES, GLASSES

The milagro of the eyes is often connected with a popular Mexican saint - Santa Lucia - who, in her popular image, is shown carrying a tray with two eyes. People pray to her - and make mandas to her - about eye conditions. The eyes can also represent the concept of watching. One practice is to attach the milagro to the frame of the image of a deceased person, in the belief that the spirit of that person is watching over us, helping to defend us from spirits from the land of the dead, or pleading our case before the saints and the angels.

BODY PARTS (LUNGS, EARS, KIDNEYS, ETC)

Various body parts, such as kidneys, livers, lungs, ears, noses, breasts, lips/mouth as well as the better known arms and legs are usually used when asking for help with a particular ailment of the identified part (ie Lung cancer, Kidney stones, hearing loss, etc.)

BOOKS, PENCILS, NOTEBOOKS

Students will often use milagros of books, notepads or pencils.

PRAYING FEMALE FIGURES

This popular milagro can represent a woman, such as ones' mother or wife, or any other woman who is perceived as being faithful. It can also represent any female saint, such as the Virgin Mary, for instance.

PRAYING MALE FIGURES

This milagro can represent a man, such as ones father or husband, for instance, or any other man who is perceived as being faithful. It can also represent any male saint, such as the San Isidro, for instance, who is always shown in a praying posture.

WOMAN'S HEAD

A milagro of woman's head might represent a woman, a woman's head, a woman's mind, a woman's spirit, or a condition such as a headache.

MAN'S HEAD

A milagro of man's head might represent a man, a man's head, a man's mind, a man's spirit, or a condition such as a headache.

YOUNG GIRLS

This popular milagro might represent one's female child, niece, grandchild, or any other girl. It might also represent the childlike qualities in anyone, such as oneself, in the sense of nurturing ones inner child, for instance. It can also be connected with a manda to a saint, wherein one might have prayed to give birth to a baby, and as a result of these prayers, a girl child was born.

YOUNG BOYS

This very popular milagro might represent one's male child, or a nephew, a grandchild, or any other boy. It might also represent the childlike qualities in anyone, such as oneself, in the sense of nurturing ones inner child, for instance. It can also be connected with a manda to a saint, wherein one might have prayed to give birth to a baby, and as a result of these prayers, a boy child was born.

ARMS

The milagro of the arm might represent an arm itself, and some condition associated with it, such as an injury, or, an arthritic condition. It might also represent ones strength, ones ability to work - and hence ones job - or some related concept. It might represent an embrace, and physical demonstrations of affection that involve embracing.

LEGS AND FEET

This milagro might represent ones leg itself, and some condition associated with it, such as an injury, or arthritic condition. It might also represent ones strength, and the concept of travel, such as a journey, or even the idea that one might be safe driving back and forth from work everyday.

HOUSES

Houses usually represent ones own home, and the blessings upon the family that lives there. It can also represent the hope of owning a home, or it can represent blessings on another home. It might also represent any other building that is like ones home away from home. When traveling, it can be a charm to insure that one will arrive safely home again, or it can establish a connection between the traveler and the loved ones at home.

Read more on The Milagros Religious Traditions

Milagros: A Book of Miracles
Milagros: A Book of Miracles

Milagros: A Book of Miracles is a wonderful introduction to this ancient tradition. Filled with beautiful milagro-inspired imagery, thoughtful meditations and reflections to enhance your daily life, and inspiring true stories of real people who have been touched by the magic of these ancient charms, this book proves that miracle do happen!

 
Milagros: Votive Offerings from the Americas (English and Spanish Edition)
Milagros: Votive Offerings from the Americas (English and Spanish Edition)

This book traces the use and artistry of milagros, small objects offered to Saints and other popular deities by Latin Americans in return for favors or answered prayers.

 
Curanderismo: Mexican American Folk Healing (de Vries Lectures in Economics)
Curanderismo: Mexican American Folk Healing (de Vries Lectures in Economics)

The practice of curanderismo, or Mexican American folk medicine, is part of a historically and culturally important health care system deeply rooted in native Mexican healing techniques.

 
Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America
Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America

Spanish America has produced numerous "folk saints" -- In this book Frank Graziano provides an overview of these Saints, offering an in-depth background of the beliefs, rituals, and devotionals.

 

Animal Milagro Meanings

Animal Symbols

HENS, ROOSTERS & CHICKENS

The hen is actually a very powerful symbol, as are all of the animal milagros. This one, like the others, might represent ones own hen, with one seeking blessings so that she might always lay good eggs. Or, it might symbolize human qualities like those of a mother hen - the concept of mothering.

BULLS, COWS

The bull might symbolize strength, protection, stamina, endurance.

HORSES

The horse might symbolize the qualities of a man in being a workhorse, or it might symbolize travel, and be involved in a prayer about a journey.

MULES

The mule, like the horse, might symbolize the qualities of a man in being a workhorse - being able to "work like a mule" - or it might symbolize travel, and be involved in a prayer about a journey. It might also be involved in a prayer or a charm to overcome stubbornness in either in oneself or in another.

SHEEP, LAMBS, GOATS

The sheep could symbolize any of the Bible verses about sheep, such as the parable of the Good Shepherd, or the Lamb of God. It could also symbolize the concept of togetherness, or family. It might also be used a charm to try to erase the effects of behavior that is typically described in a negative way as being like that of a sheep - such as giving into peer pressure with negative results, or, say, the concern of a parent that her child my be involved with a harmful cult or some other group that one does not approve of.

DOGS

The family dog milagros could symbolize loyalty. It could also symbolize protection.

PIGS

The pig could symbolize nourishment - "bringing home the bacon". It might also be used a charm to try to erase the effects of behavior that is typically described in a negative way as being like that of a pig, such as perceived lack of control in ones eating habits.

Were You Familiar With Milagros Before?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Welcome to the Spirituality Group! Great topic! Nice lens.

    • profile image

      marsha32 8 years ago

      This is very interesting!

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      Another well researched lens. Welcome to the Science of Energy Healing Group.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Fascinating! You taught me about something I wasn't aware of. 5* and an angel blessing. Great lens!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      Great lens, but you knew that :) Just wanted to remind you that this is featured on the Religious and spiritual gifts Headquarters: http://www.squidoo.com/groups/religious-gifts

      It's now transformed into a lensography and I would love it if you could feature it here, or lensroll it or something.

    • profile image

      OddLilDuck 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, thank youf or sharing this.

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 5 years ago from Lancaster PA

      I love the part about asking a Saint for a blessing, and once the blessing is received, to travel to the shrine of the Saint to give thanks. ****Blessed****

    • profile image

      miles3311 5 years ago

      Worth reading... God bless.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Very interesting. I was familiar with milagros from my time in Mexico and Texas. Learned new aspects of milagros here. Thank you.

    • profile image

      boadicea7 4 years ago

      I have known about milagros for some time now. I made a Christmas quilt adorned with little satin bows and brass milagros. From some reading I did, however (Martha Egan) I was under the impression that milagros were pre-columbian in Latin America and are an important aspect of the Pachamama cult.

    • profile image

      boadicea7 4 years ago

      Look up Pachamama in Wikipedia. Very interesting stuff.

      It's totally fascinating--a living goddess cult.

    Click to Rate This Article