An ex-voto is a votive offering to a saint or divinity. It is given in fulfillment of a vow–the Latin term is short for ex voto suscepto, “from the vow made”–or in gratitude or devotion.
Ex-voti are usually placed in a church, affixed in a chapel or roadside shrine, like the one portrayed, where the worshiper seeks grace or gives thanks for a wish granted.
As such these may include plaques, marble tablets or handwritten signs with texts explaining the 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, like a crutch given by a formerly lame person.I’ve seen ex-voti around town include paintings of saved dogs, silver heart shapes, model boats, war medals and even football shirts given by players and supporters of a winning local soccer team..The mosaic on the busy corner of Rome’s Via Gramsci and Viale Buozzi here, is in itself an ex-voto expressing gratitude for rescue from a car wreck. Amen.