St. Peter Claver Believed In Converting Pagans and Heretics To Catholicism

Since the Council of Vatican II, most Catholics think that all religions are great and that there is no need to be missionaries anymore.  That is not how it was before.  St. Peter Claver is a great example, amongst all the saints, who lived and suffered to save souls by baptizing them in the Catholic faith.  He is said to have baptized over 300,000 slaves.

peter-claver1St. Peter was born is Spain in 1581.  He went to Cartagena, that is now Colombia, to work with the black slaves.  His 5 month trip there was mostly suffering, but he used it to gently convert all those on board by asking for a hour a day to catechize everyone on board.  Cartagena was the main port where slaves were brought in from Africa to be sold in South America.

Once there, he worked with translators and catechist to reach all the slaves in their own language.  He said: “We must speak to them with our hands before we speak to them with our mouths“.  So, once a boat would arrive, he would be there to serve them with kindness, food, medicine, brandy, lemons and tobacco.  He made a vow to be “a slave to the black slaves forever”.

St_Peter_Claver“He was solicitous not only with blacks but with everyone in great danger of body or soul. He took a particular interest in those condemned to death; he would prepare them and accompany them to the place of execution. Once he accompanied a certain Stephen Melon, convicted of robbery and murder. And since the post of hangman was vacant, they sent in his place a Muslim condemned to the galleys. Because the executioner lacked practice, the rope broke three times, causing the convict great pain. Each time, St. Peter Claver rushed to comfort him with wine and biscuits. Afterward he also helped the Mohammedan, comforting him in the same way. The next day the latter came looking for St. Peter at the high school to thank him for his charity, and left the place converted.”{ref}Cf. Enriqueta Vila, Santos de América, Ediciones Moreton, S.A., Bilbao, 1968, p. 135.

A woman who had not yet been baptized, died.  He went and prayed that she would come back to life.  She did, he baptized her.  She immediately died after, a saved Catholic.

To those condemned to death he would say; “Happy are you who know your last day, and happy I should be, I know mine.”  He was bed ridden for 4 years before he died peacefully, without a word or motion.  That was on the birthday of Our Mother Mary, September 8, 1654.

Saint_Peter_ClaverLet us learn from from St. Peter Claver to do as he said; “Make of life a ladder to heaven.”

Let us also shout out with him: Everyone needs to be converted and be baptized Catholic.  We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know this and practice this.  Let us do it by our prayers, our example and then our mouth.