These eyes are iconography known as an ex-voto. Ex-votos, which are most often in the form of body parts, are very common in Sicily. They are given to a saint or divinity at his or her sanctuary by pilgrims as gratitude for healing of an ailment or grace received. These eyes pictured, were given to Santa Lucia, the patron saint of eyes, sight, and blindness, at the Duomo in Siracusa. The term ex-voto is an abbreviation for the Latin term “ex voto suscepto,” or “vow undertaken.” Ex-votos also act as a testimonial to other pilgrims seeking healing or grace.
Please join me on Sunday, Dec. 10, to celebrate the patroness Santa Lucia at Cacio e Vino restaurant in New York City. Her feast day is December 13.
Registration and details at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrate-la-festa-di-santa-lucia-saint-lucy-tickets-40074891078.