Torino’s Madonna della Consolata holds a treasure of ex votos. An ex voto is a votive offering usually made to a specific saint in gratitude for the fulfillment of a blessing and is placed in a church or chapel where the devoted wishes to give thanks. Ex votos come in different forms, but I find the most beautiful to be the depictions of the accidents, illnesses and disasters from which the victims were spared. These tablets were often painted by a local artist with little or no artistic training and were commissioned by the family of or the individual who received the blessing.
An ex voto of this type usually includes 4 elements – a visualization of the situation from which the victim was spared , a depiction of the saint to whom the votive is dedicated, the name of the person who received the blessing along with the date of the event, and P.G.R. or G.R. (Per Grazia Ricevuta – For Grace Received).