Today is the Feast Day of St. Peter Claver. In the 1600s, this saint ministered to the kidnapped victims in the African Slave Ships off the coast of Columbia. He entered the ship hulls with food, medicine and catechists fluent in African dilects. His ministry and anti-slavery crusade was sharply criticized by the South American Catholic population at the time. The difficult conditions and hostile poltical climite were no match for St. Peter Claver zeal. As my priest explained this morning, "St. Peter Claver knew that all healing comes from Jesus Christ. He saw people in horrible misery after being chained together in a ships hull for a three month ocean crossing. He brought them medicine. He brought them food. But most of all, he brought them the healing touch of Jesus Christ Himself." It is estimated that St. Peter Claver baptized at least 300,000 souls.
St. Peter Claver, pray for us. Help us heal the bitter legacy of slavery and end racial hatred everywhere.