Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inspiration from Saint James' Shells

Yesterday was Armistice Day, May 8th, and as such everyone in France had the day off. I forgot it was also a Tuesday. France has more Sundays than most countries ;)

We were walking around PĂ©rigueux, headed for the domed Byzantine Cathedral.
"What is that?"
I was thinking parking and timing and lunch. "Huh?"

"That shell?"

Not everyone, especially a teenager, would have noticed the bronze shell medallion marking the Way of Saint James, the Camino de Santiago. Having remarked a real life detail, my sister and I went in search of the story, happily researching this historic pilgrimage route. We found there are trails all over Europe that lead to a church on the west coast of Spain, where the Apostle James bones are said to be buried.

A few weeks later, we watched
The Way directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his dad, Martin Sheen. An quietly inspirational film with powerful acting and humor, we enjoyed learning more about the Camino.

Did you know anything about this pilgrimage? Have you seen the film? Have you ever questioned a shell in your path?


  1. I've heard of the Camino. But I never knew it stretched over the whole Europe. I thought it was just in Spain. :-)

    1. In fact, there are lots of trails from cities around Europe that lead to Santiago - they say that's why the shell, with many lines leading to one point, is the symbol!

  2. I've never heard of any of this. I can't believe it because I've lived in Europe! I'm definitely going to watch this movie. Thanks!

  3. I haven't heard of it, but it sounds really cool!

  4. Julie et J.A. - Hope you enjoy finding it!