St. Peter Claver spent his life ministering to the slaves taken from the West coast of Africa and trafficked through Cartegena, Colombia. He established hospitals, including a leprosarium and bravely carried on his work even in the face of smallpox and other infectious diseases dangerous to his own health. He catechized and baptized tens of thousands of Africans and spent many hours not only caring for the personal needs of the native Africans, but in the confessional as well. Many miracles and cures were wrought through his intercession before and after his death.
The central two figures, St. Peter Claver and a slave, are cast in bronze and are part of the sculpture. The "volunteers" on either side are performance artists.
The ruins of the Spanish fortress at Cartagena.
Statue commemorating a slave rebellion.
Cartagena, Colombia was the major disembarkation point for the African slave trade in the Americas.
Ignatius Strecker was a German immigrant who came to St. Louis, MO in 1853. He was miraculously healed of multiple rib fractures from a work related injury at which time advanced tuberculosis was diagnosed.
The miracle was attested by the Vatican and was the second of two miracles required for St. Peter Claver's canonization. For many years now, Strecker's descendants gather in the the parish church in thanksgiving.
Ignatius Strecker (l)
Shrine of St. Joseph, St. Louis MO (below)
The Strecker descendants (below)