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The first time I was in Naples visiting the many churches and  chapels ‘milagros’ adorned the walls around shrines or a panel of a wall near a stand of candles and around quiet spots to sit and pray.  I loved the silver molds of arms, hands, heads, legs, hearts, animals, food produce etc and wondered what they were all about.  They were quirky yet beautiful.

The milagro comes from Spain and has spread to the Americas and parts of Europe.  It translates as ‘miracle’ or ‘surprise’ and  used for healing purposes via prayer.  Milagros can be bought in many places throughout Europe in a range of styles to hang or wear as jewellery pieces.  Milagros represent shapes for the health of a body part, the success of a crop, the wellbeing of ownership of livestock or any other need required that can be beaten into a mold of metal.

In the week that my mother was dying I went for a walk and found this milagro at a Community Aid Abroad stall. The heart is symbolic of love and life, and this particular heart was covered in mini milagros that I thought somehow appropriate.  I hung it above my mother’s bed a few days before her death not to prolong her life but to be of comfort to myself and other family members to symbolise all of our heartfelt feelings toward her and for the winged heart to guide her from this world.   Ironically, it was her heart that finally stopped, hopefully, full of peace and satisfaction that her life was resolved and complete.

Click on the link to see more milagros


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