September 9                                                                                             Patron of the
                                                                                                                        African Missions
PETER CLAVER was a Spanish Jesuit. He was sent to Cartagena in South America where he spent forty years in this great slave market of the West Indies, laboring for the salvation of African Negroes.  He consecrated himself to the salvation of those ignorant and miserable people, and he called himself "the slave of the slaves." He was their apostle, father, physician, and friend. When news arrived of a slave ship coming into port, Peter would go on at once and bring comfort to his dear slaves. He fed and clothed and nursed them with the greatest tenderness in their sicknesses.  It is said that he baptized forty-thousand Negro slaves before he died in 1654.
Peter would say, "We must speak to them (the Negroes) with our hands by giving, before we try to speak to them with our lips." He organized charitable societies among the Spanish people in Cartagena just as St. Vincent de Paul did in Paris.
O God, You conferred on St. Peter Claver a remarkable love and patience to help Your enslaved people and bring them to a knowledge of Your Name. Through his intercession, help us to seek equality for all races.
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