When Peter Claver was a young priest, his mentor, Saint Alphonsus Rodgriguez, inspired him to go to the America (then called the New World) to preach the Gospel to “millions of perishing souls.” When Peter arrived in what we now call Columbia in 1610, he was horrified at the sight of the slave trade. He dedicated himself to serving the captives from Africa. He would meet the boats with medicine, water and food and hurry down to tend to the sick and dying. He taught the Africans about Jesus and administered Sacraments as they became Christians. He also traveled to the plantations where the slaves were forced to labor and begged their masters to treat them well.
Human trafficking is still a big problem in the world today, and just like Saint Peter Claver 400 years ago, there are priests and religious brothers and sisters, plus lay Catholics, who are working very hard to rescue the victims of modern-day slavery. Today, make a donation to Catholic Charities USA in honor of Saint Peter Claver, earmarked “for human trafficking victims.” You can mail your donation to Catholic Charities USA, P.O. Box 17066, Baltimore, MD, 21297-1066 or make a donation online.
Saint Peter Claver, pray for us!
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