St. James Way, commonly known as the Camino de Santiago, is a large network of pilgrim routes starting across several European countries, including North Africa, ending at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. The pilgrimage has always been popular amongst Irish Catholics, who traditionally would sail to France before walking to Spain.
The history of St. James Way dates back to the beginning of the 9th century with the discovery of St. James tomb at Santiago de Compostela. The Way then became defined by a network of Roman routes that carried an impressive human traffic flow, all of whom made the pilgrimage on foot. In fact the tradition of making the journey by foot still continues to this day with St. James Way offering a significant spiritual value to the pilgrims that set out on the journey.
Continuing with the traditions of old, the pilgrims still return home with emblems of St. James, the most recognisable being the scallop shell. Many believe the scallop shell was used by St. James as a drinking vessel and so along the Way of St. James pilgrims are guided by these shells which are used as markers leading to Santiago de Compostela.
Pilgrims across Europe often began their journey by gathering at churches dedicated to the saint before embarking on their path to Spain. It is very likely that Irish pilgrims assembled at our St. James here in The Liberties.
At Pearse Lyons Distillery we signify our respect to St. James and the Camino de Santiago with a stain glass window above the gallery depicting Santiago de Compostela.