Saint Peter Claver

Saint Peter Claver

Jesuit Missionary
(1580-1654)

If anyone wonders what exactly it is that constitutes a Saint, he has only to read the life of Saint Peter Claver, in whom the superhuman life of grace acted so visibly as to create a person who seemed more than a man. This holy Jesuit, born in Spain in 1580, was during his novitiate a disciple of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, the holy porter of Majorca, a humble lay-brother endowed with the highest gifts of contemplation and prophecy. The two would eventually be canonized together by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, thus cementing the perfect union which began on earth and certainly continues in heaven. Saint Alphonsus, when he saw the novice for the first time, was inspired to kiss his feet; and the novice embraced his spiritual father with a tenderness which would increase with time. A little later, the preceptor learned from a vision that this novice was destined to save a multitude of souls in the New World; he said to Peter: How many peoples go astray for lack of ministers! The fatigue of going to seek them out is dreaded, but not the danger and crime which it is to abandon them! Eventually Saint Alphonsus revealed his divinely revealed calling to him, to inspire in him an active desire to respond to the explicit Will of God.

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