Historically the Milagros is a folk custom in parts of North, Central and South America traceable to ancient Iberians who inhabited the coastal regions of Spain. They accompanied the Spanish as they arrived in the Americas. It is still used occasionally in the folk culture of the rural areas of Spain.
Milagros are small religious metal charms. They’re made of tin, silver, gold, bone, wax and usually 3 dimensional. They’re found in many Catholic countries especially Mexico and Peru. They are frequently attached to altars, shrines and sacred objects found in places of worship. Used as healing purposes or votive offerings – often purchased in churches and cathedrals or from street vendors.
As part of a religious ritual or an act of devotion , Milagros can be offered to a symbol of a saint as a reminder of a petitioner’s particular need, or in gratitude for a prayer answered. They are used to assist in focussing attention towards a specific ailment, based on the type of charm used. Milagro symbolism is not universal : a milagro of a body part, such as a leg, might be used as part of a prayer or vow for the improvement of the leg: or it might refer to a concept such as travel or mountainclimbing. Similarly a heart might represent ideas as diverse as a heart condition, a romance, or any other number of interpretations. Milagros are also carried for protection and good luck.