History of Medicine Español - Italiano Healing and faith have always played a role in the lives of the faithful. They are interwoven in the fabric of social history. How we regard illness and healing, and how we cope with them have captured our imagination throughout the ages. The expression of our relationship with illness is wonderfully illustrated in the ex-voto, a devotional painting giving thanks to a saint or deity for a miraculous healing or a blessing. The faithful have always used prayer to invoke the aid of saints as a means to heal the sick and end one's suffering. These devotional paintings are an individual's expression of thanks for the intercession of the divine in a crisis, a snapshot in time of illness and healing.