In the dining room of my Jesuit community in Brazil are five black and white photographs of the room and the chapel where St. Peter Claver lived and prayed. The middle photograph, however, is one of a sculpture of St. Peter with another man. Their gaze is very still and the image invites the viewer to enter into the scene. What might they be talking about? What images, words, and stories might Peter have shared with this person? We might ask too: what might St. Peter say today to you and me?
But more than words, the picture reveals Peter´s desire to touch the hand of the person he is with. His hand reaches out and this gesture itself seems to be his communication. A gesture of touch, of healing, of comfort, of hope. May this saint, who knew how to walk with and comfort others, comfort us today in our own humble, simple walk with Jesus.
—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province. He is currently in his second year of theology studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Chris previously taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL.