Pastoral Notes 6th March, 2016

Next weekend we welcome the Missionary Sisters of St Peter Claver, making an appeal on behalf of their missionary work. Peter Claver was born in Spain in 1581, a student at Barcelona University, but learning mostly from a porter of his college, also later canonised. Peter in due course became a missionary to what is now Colombia in South America. He devoted his life to innumerable charitable works, caring for the many slaves brought over from Africa, living in appalling conditions on their travels, and often again in their daily work in the New World. He worked equally for the conversion of the many Europeans who settled in Colombia, giving retreats and spending hours hearing confessions. The physical conditions of the many sick deterred others from helping. Peter said: “If being a saint consists in having no taste and having a strong stomach, I admit that I may be one”. He died in 1654, often abandoned in his sickness, but immediately revered as a saint as soon as he died! He was canonised in 1888 by Pope Leo XIII.