Milagros (Miracle) Healing Charms
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
Helps heart attack recovery, prevents high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and promotes love.
:Helps heal arthritis, a broken hand, and loss of finger(s)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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!
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.
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.
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
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.
The bull might symbolize strength, protection, stamina, endurance.
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.
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.
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.
The family dog milagros could symbolize loyalty. It could also symbolize protection.
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.