On Feb. 8, we celebrate the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of human trafficking survivors. St. Josephine was born near Darfur, Sudan in 1869 and abducted by slave traders at the age of 7. Her childhood – if it can be called that – was gruesome, but she retained an openness to beauty and life, nevertheless. After being sold to a family in Italy, she encountered the Canossian Sisters, who taught her the Catholic faith. She joined their order upon the approval of her petition for freedom. At her canonization, St. Pope John Paul II said that in St. Josephine Bakhita, “We find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation. The history of her life inspires not passive acceptance but the firm resolve to work effectively to free girls and women from oppression and violence, and to return them to their dignity in the full exercise of their rights.” Click here to pray a novena to St. Josephine Bakhita. Click here to read more about the Bakhita Foundation. Click here for a contemplative prayer by Jean McLoughlin, SSND
Enjoy this video depicting St. Bakhita’s life.