Captured and away from all he loved, he was confined in a ship amid relentless waves and sickness, and he was at the mercy of his captors. Water and food were in short supply, captives were tortured and tormented, and the heat and squalor were awful. Many died, while others committed suicide or were slain.
This is the desperate situation into which St. Peter Claver (1581–1684) voluntarily entered. Author Arnold Lunn in A Saint in the Slave Trade, reflects that St. Peter, a learned and gifted priest, became the “slave of the slaves” in order to become a father to the fatherless. He lived in the slave ships of the West Indies to care for the sick and bring the gospel and the sacraments to the hopeless.
Lunn explains in A Saint in the Slave Trade how, since the early days of Christianity, the Church has worked to protect the dignity, rights, and liberation of slaves, and how many of the same struggles to resist injustice and embrace the value of human life are still visible today.
A Saint in the Slave Trade presents philosophical and spiritual insights on how the power of Christian mercy revolutionizes and liberates individuals in the most terrible situations, reflecting on humanistic outrages from Roman times to recent years. Set out on a spiritual journey with St. Peter Claver and allow him to guide you in:
- fostering your prayer life and union with God through Ignatian spirituality
- growing in docility and obedience to God’s will
- overcoming injustice by sharing God’s love, person to person
- cultivating virtues by following St. Peter Claver’s example of heroic charity
- offering sacrifices for souls and finding happiness amid suffering
A Saint in the Slave Trade powerfully attests that all lives matter. Our personal witness of sanctity is a “creative force” that will help lead other souls to God.