09 September 2008

In honor of the day

Born in Spain in 1580, Saint Peter Claver was ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus in 1615. Calling himself the Aethiopum servus, the "slave of the Africans," he dedicated his life to the care of African slaves in what is today Columbia. He died in 1654.

As is often the case with the saints, Peter Claver was a humble man with a good wit. He once quipped, "If being a saint consists in having no taste and a strong stomach, I admit I may be one."

But more pointedly, and for your daily spiritual humiliation, he once compared himself to an ass, a donkey:

When he is evilly spoken of he is dumb [mute]. When he is starved he is dumb. When he is overloaded he is dumb. When he is despised and neglected he is still dumb. He never complains in any circumstances for he is only an ass. So also must God's servant be.
I confess to having a bit to work on here.

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