Pope Francis Visits Shrine of St. Peter Claver

In Cartagena, Pope Francis Pays Homage to Patron Saint of Colombia Who Cared for Slaves, Converted Many

© L'Osservatore Romano

after having blessed the cornerstones of several homeless shelters and of the Talitha Qum Women’s Home, the Pontiff paid homage to the saint.

Pope Francis is in his last full day of his five-day Apostolic Visit to Colombia, Sept. 6-11, 2017. Today, he is in Cartagena, after having visited Bogota, Villavicencio, and Medellin. Tomorrow, he flies back to Rome.

Born in Spain, Peter Claver came to Colombia and became a Jesuit priest. The 17th century saint spent most of his life caring for African slaves, namely those who arrived at the Port of Cartagena from Africa, and advocating for abolishing slave trade.

Despite the damage to his own reputation for having done so, Claver cared for the sick, often restoring them to health, and is said to have personally baptized some 300 thousand Africans.

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