In the Santuario di Sant'Alfio there is a fascinating Museum of Ex Voto, consisting of collections of various kinds, still little known and the subject of study, whose historical and socio-cultural relevance deserves to be enhanced. Usually, an ex-voto is a gift offered to Our Lady and the Saints as a sign of gratitude for a grace received. It is a custom found in many religious traditions, not only Christian. Votive offerings can take different forms: money, precious or non-precious objects, human body parts reproduced in wax. But, beyond such gifts, one can find ex-votos of different kinds and materials, such as hats, clothes, support instruments (crutches, busts, herniar belts, etc.), hearts, eyes, silver breasts, various weapons, bullet casings and shrapnel, and anything else that has to do with the grace received. Among the tangible offerings, the symbol and act of breaking a vow, votive tablets, of great artistic and anthropological interest, stand out. These are small paintings on different materials depicting the 'miracle scene', i.e. a moment of extreme danger that is believed to have been overcome thanks to divine intervention. That is why these tablets are called 'miracles' in many regions of Italy.
Some information is provided by:
Ex Voto Museum
Via del Santuario, 2, 95039 Trecastagni CT, Italia