1.- To begin, he was baptized on the 26th Of June, 1580, as it is shown in the Baptismal Registry kept in the Parish Archives in the town of Verdú. The good pastor added to the inscription these words: “May God make him a good Catholic.” And thus it was. Following his desire to become a priest, at the age of 17 he moved to Barcelona. There, at the age of 22, he entered the Society of Jesus. He was assigned to the Jesuit College in Palma de Mallorca, where he spent 3 years. While there, Alonso Rodriguez, the door keeper, who was known as a saintly person, became his friend and teacher. He influenced him greatly, and encouraged him to work in the American continent, discovered by Europeans in the previous century. So it was that Peter Claver sailed from Seville on April 15, 1610, and landed in Cartagena de Indias, in what is now known as Colombia.
2.- This was a dark time in history, stained by the injustice and cruelty of slavery. Peter Claver was a witness to the arrival of slave ships, and saw how the slaves were treated. He began to go to the port when a ship arrived, welcoming them with an open heart and a smile on his lips, at the same time distributing clothing, food, drink and sweets. As he himself wrote, he spoke to them not with words but with his hands and work. It was useless to speak to them any other way. He would kneel beside the sick, wash them, tend to them, and try to make them happy with as many demonstrations of care that human nature can show to help lighten the burden of a sick person. His life was a beautiful example of human and evangelical love for his dear slaves. He cared for them materially, instructed them in the faith, and baptized them, always considering himself their servant. On April 3, 1622, he made a solemn commitment which he expressed with the following words: “Slave of the Black Slaves forever.” He signed it, and fulfilled it with his life.
3.- He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII, who said that “since the life of Christ, no life had moved him so deeply as the life of Peter Claver”.
He lived on earth in poverty and freedom, for 74 years, suffering with those who suffered, a white man among black men, always as a slave of the slaves. He was a Catalan of few words, but prodigious in heroism.