Pilgrim's Paternoster Rosary, Large Wood Beads, St James Shell Emblem


Handmade wood bead paternoster in the style used and worn by pilgrim's during the Middle Ages. The beads are lightweight and strong - important for pilgrim's on the road - and includes a carved bone shell as well as "tokens" collected along the pilgrim's long journeys.

This rosary has 4 groups of 10 Ave beads in the loop, with larger gaud beads embellished with brass between each group. The beads are hand-knotted with variegated color rosary cord and the loop comes together at a bronze ring.

The front of the paternoster has 3 beads and a carved ox-bone shell. A smaller ring hangs on cord from the center where the pilgrim can add mementos of each journey. In this rosary they include medals of St Anthony and the Archangel Michael, and a small bronze cross.

This is a large rosary, suitable for wearing on a belt as in the olden times, or used in a decor or display. Well made for regular prayerful use.

Length when hanging: approx 65cm / 25.5 inches.
Beads: 15mm & 20mm stained wood.
Shell pendant: 4.5cm / 1.75 inches tall.

The scallop shell is an emblem of Saint James the Greater who after Christ's crucifixion, traveled for many miles, often on foot, to carry the Good News to the world. The lines on the back of the shell are said to represent the paths taken by pilgrims, and large shells were often used as drinking vessels to hold water from streams.

St James' remains are said to be buried in Santiago de Compostela, which today is a major pilgrimage destination. The scallop shell is the recognized symbol of all pilgrims. When returning to their own countries, pilgrims displayed the scallop shell in their hats or rosaries to show that they had carried out their pious intentions.

I've made a medieval style pouch to carry the rosary in, which has looped cords to hang over a belt or arm - great for re-enactment or costume wear.

More paternosters: Living History Collection




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