The Scallop Shell

Many pilgrims on the Camino tie a scallop shell to their backpacks or on the laces of their boots. The scallop shell is also used to mark the route one is meant to walk on the way to Santiago de Compostela. So, what’s the deal with that?

The association of St. James with scallops takes us back to the belief that after his death in Jerusalem, his remains (without his head) were transported by sea to Spain by his followers. A number of miracles ensued during the journey, one of which holds that his body was lost at sea during a storm only to be transported to shore intact and covered with scallops. That certainly gives Coquilles St. Jacques a new meaning.

Scallops are also abundant in Galicia, the region of Spain where Compostela is located. That’s a good thing, as those who know me well will attest that scallops are one of my favorite types of seafood.

Thank you to everyone who has generously supported my walk with a gift to Episcopal Relief & Development.  If you haven’t yet done so and would like to make a donation, you can do so by clicking “Support my Journey!”

Published by Rob Radtke

President & CEO, Episcopal Relief & Development, husband, father, friend, traveler, reader, New Yorker.

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