Today is the Feast of St. Peter Claver, patron saint of race relations. Today was also chosen as the National Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities by the U.S. Bishops to help bring the message of healing everyone, and inspired by the great St. Peter Claver’s works of mercy.
“We must speak to [slaves] with our hands by giving, before we try to speak to them with our lips.”
– Saint Peter Claver
PRAYER FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITIES
Let us pray . . . O Lord our God, in your mercy and kindness, no thought of ours is left unnoticed, no desire or concern ignored. You have proven that blessings abound when we fall on our knees in prayer, and so we turn to you in our hour of need. Surrounded by violence and cries for justice, we hear your voice telling us what is required . . . “Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6:8). Fill us with your mercy so that we, in turn, may be merciful to others. Strip away pride, suspicion, and racism so that we may seek peace and justice in our communities. Strengthen our hearts so that they beat only to the rhythm of your holy will. Flood our path with your light as we walk humbly toward a future filled with encounter and unity. Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts, for only by the prompting of your grace can we progress toward virtue. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Peter Claver (Apostleship of Prayer)
National Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities (USCCB) – Resources and prayer cards
5 Ways You Can Cultivate Peace and Work for Racial Justice (to go forth – USCCB)
St. Peter Claver (Franciscan Media)
The Slave of Slaves (Brandon Vogt) – excerpt from his great book Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World
Saint Peter Claver Society – a great non-profit serving orphans in Zambia, Africa in the spirit of St. Peter Claver