St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain in 1580. He entered the Jesuit college of Barcelona, becoming a Jesuit novitiate, taking his final vows on Aug 8, 1604.
St. Peter Claver left his homeland to become a missionary in the colonies of the new world. He ministered to the slaves arriving daily in Cartagena (now Columbia). Over a thousand slaves arrived in Cartagena every month. He brought them food, ministered to their medical needs and prayed with them. He followed them to the plantation they were taken to. He declared himself to be the "slave of the negroes forever."
After instructing them in the faith, he baptized them. By 1651 he had baptized over 300,000 slaves into the faith.
After suffering from illness for four years, St. Peter Claver died on Sept. 8, 1654. His feast day is celebrated on Sept. 8.
St. Peter Claver has been declared the patron saint of African Missions.
The following quotes are attributed to St. Peter Claver:
"Seek God in all things and you shall find God by your side."
"We must speak to them with oiur hands before we try to speack to them with our lips."