St. Peter Claver
Feast day: September 9
Born in Spain, Peter was the son of a farmer. After studying at the University of Barcelona, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1602. St. Alphonsus Rodríguez convinced him to do missionary work in the New World. Landing in Cartagena, Peter encountered West African slaves who had been brought to the Americas to work in the Spanish colonies. Finding the conditions of their slavery inhumane, he spent the rest of his life working on their behalf. It is estimated that he baptized 300,000 Africans. Peter was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.
O God, who made Saint Peter Claver a slave of slaves
and strengthened him with wonderful charity and patience
as he came to their help,
grant, through his intercession,
that, seeking the things of Jesus Christ,
we may love our neighbor in deeds and in truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.