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peter claverPeter Claver was born at Verdu in Catalonia Spain in 1580.  From 1596 he studied arts and letters at the University of Barcelona.  In 1602 he entered the Society of Jesus.  With the help especially of St Alphonsus Rodriguez, porter of the Jesuit College of Majorca, Peter heard and followed the call to the missions.  In 1616 he was ordained to the priesthood in the Mission of Colombia.  There, until his death, he carried on an apostolate among the black slaves, vowing to be “the slave of the blacks forever.”  His strength exhausted after thirty-three years of tireless ministry, he died at Cartagena in Colombia on 8 Sept 1654.  He was canonised by Leo XIII in 1888.  In 1896 the same pope declared him the special heavenly patron of all missions to the black peoples. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2975; Christian Prayer 1990, p 1218

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