St. James - Santiago Peregrino Drinks

During a visit to Compostela, Spain a couple years ago I became more familiar with the images and symbols of the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James, the pilgrimage routes to the cathedral where his remains are buried. St. James, Santiago in Spanish, is the patron saint of Spain and of pilgrims, particularly the pilgrims on the Camino.

St. James is usually depicted in one of two ways: a fighter or a pilgrim. 

As a fighter, he is Santiago Matamoros or St. James the Moor Slayer. It is in this guise that he appeared to the local armies who were trying to drive the Moors out of the Iberian peninsula.

He is also portrayed as a pilgrim, Santiago Peregrino. He is dressed in robes with the traditional cockleshell on his hat, a bag with supplies, a gourd for carrying water and a staff, which are traditional symbols of the pilgrim. 

A pilgrim is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place. The English word for pilgrim derives from the Latin peregrinus which means foreigner. The Spanish word for pilgrim is peregrino while in Italian is is pellegrino.  It was there that I made that connection that a favorite sparkling mineral water from Italy, San Pellegrino, shares this pilgrim name.  The sparkling water is named for the town in Italy where the water is bottled, which in turn was named after a French bishop - St. Peregrine which comes also from the Latin peregrinus.

Since St. James is the patron saint of pilgrims, what better way to toast St. James than with a glass of "pilgrim" water.  San Pellegrino waters are a refreshing drink - whether the natural sparkling water or one of their flavored varieties. Our family loves these and looks for any excuse to celebrate with them. It is a great last minute idea because there is no preparation, just buy a bottle or a six-pack and you are ready to go. Particularly for this feast day the blood orange flavor, Aranciata Rossa, seems fitting since St. James was a martyr and shed his blood for the faith.

"O God, who brought your servant Abraham out of the land of the Chaldeans, protecting him in
his wanderings, who guided the Hebrew people across the desert, we ask that you watch over us,
your servants, as we walk in the love of your name to Santiago de Compostela.

Be for us our companion on the walk,
Our guide at the crossroads,
Our breath in our weariness,
Our protection in danger,
Our albergue on the Camino,
Our shade in the heat,
Our light in the darkness,
Our consolation in our discouragements,
And our strength in our intentions.

So that with your guidance we may arrive safe and sound at the end of the Road and enriched
with grace and virtue we return safely to our homes filled with joy.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Apostle Santiago, pray for us.
Santa Maria, pray for us.

~A St. James Pilgrim's Prayer 

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