|Saint Peter Claver|
“To do the will of God, man must despise his own; the more he dies to himself, the more he will live to God.
- St. Peter Claver
Saint Peter Claver (1580-1654) was known as the "Apostle to the Negro slaves." He was a priest in Cartagena which was a port that served the lucrative and brutal slave trade. He would enter ships as they drew near the shore to feed and care for their human cargo and defend them against their oppressors. His self-denial for the sake of black slaves was remarkable. Not only did he minister to them upon arrival in Cartagena but cared for them once on plantations and advocated to their owners kindness and fairness. During Peter Claver's lifetime he baptised more than 300,000 black slaves into the Christian faith, and sought to end the slave trade. He died in 1654 but his spiritual legacy continues to this day. Yesterday was the feast of Saint Peter Claver, Patron Saint of Slaves.
"I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The faith I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2.20)
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