Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Peter Claver (1581–1654)

Saint Peter Claver (1581–1654)

Patron saint of African Americans

Feast day: September 9

Peter Claver was born in Spain and went to Colombia in South America as a missionary to serve the African slaves who had been taken there to be sold in the New World. For years he would meet the ships and bring food and medicine to the slaves, who were herded out in chains to be sold like animals. Peter preached to them of their own goodness and of God’s love for them.

Saint Peter often visited slaves at their places of work and reminded slaveholders to be just and merciful to their workers, who were also children of God. Not only was Saint Peter Claver’s life built on the solid rock of belief in God’s love, but he passed that on to those he served. (From Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens [Saint Mary’s Press])

(Image © Vicki Shuck/Saint Mary's Press)