Milagros are miracles. As a Mexican American, Milagros have been a vital part of my life. The small brass or copper ornaments can resemble a heart , an arm, a leg, eyes and nearly a dozen other things and each one of them represents an ailment or problem.
When I was a teenager, I injured my knee and my mom is an extremely devout Catholic. She ushered me to the Basillica of Our Lady of San Juan . When there we purchased our candles and our little gold colored milagro of a leg. It was meant to usher her prayers through the Virgen of San Juan to God’s ear. We made our way into the Milagro room that was filled with wedding dresses, crutches, pictures, charms, and even braided hair.
In that room was hope and the essence of people’s faith. It was a showing of how devout they were and what they were willing to give up as a thanks for prayers heard.
Religion and Culture in the Mexican American community are interchangeable. The two mix so much that it is hard to know where one ends and the other begins. These tiny trinkets have been a part of Catholicism for centuries. They are essential to what is known as Mexican and Latin American folk art. Some of the most intrinsic designs are a mix of faith and culture.
The most common images of Milagros or the ones found in Pop Culture are the Virgen de Guadalupe and the Corazon. These hearts are also known as the Sacred Heart, Sacred Heart of Jesus, and even the Sacred Heart of Mary.
I decided that it was time to expand out of my repertoire of bracelets and try and create a pendent. There are many different renditions of these hearts and the one thing to remember is that the smaller the object the harder it is to tool the detail in the leather. I used up some scraps that had been sitting in my leather bin.
I did two designs. One was of a rose and the other was a hand drawn milagro. I have been practicing the Sacred Hearts for awhile now so it was easy to recreate it.
I used a modeling spoon, a beveler, and a swivel knife.