St Peter Claver sees Jesus Christ and the Virgin before death.jpgToday the Church liturgically remembers one of her missionary saints, Saint Peter Claver, (1580-1654) a Spainard who came from a very modest but known family heritage. Claver was influenced by what he heard and what he read in Jesuit houses of the missionaries. The brother porter-saint of Claver’s Jesuit house of studies, Alphonsus Rodriquez, frequently spoke of the need great work he could do in sharing the Gospel in mission lands. So moved to serve the Divine Majesty in a distant land, he requested of his superiors to be sent on mission to the New World. In what is known today as Columbia, South America, Claver worked with the negro-slaves teaching them the faith, and attending to their human and spiritual needs. In Claver’s eyes he took Saint Paul’s teaching that there are no distinctions in the Kingdom between Jew and Greek, slave or free, man or woman: all are the adopted children of God. As one person put it, for 33 years Father Peter Claver lavished love on the slaves that transcended the natural order. It was a love that confounded his religious superiors and the leaders in civil society of his day. It is reported that the saint brought to Christ 300K souls.

Let us remember in prayer the missionaries and those who work to evangelize.