Who is St. Josephine Bakhita?
St. Josephine Bakhita was born in the Darfur region of Sudan in 1869 and was kidnapped by slave traders and enslaved as a child. She was forced to walk barefoot over 600 miles and was sold multiple times to different owners before being sold to an Italian diplomat that took her to Italy; here, she valiantly asserted her freedom with the help of the Cannossian Sisters of Venice. Through her faith, St. Bakhita realized the promise of liberty inherent in the human spirit.
Following her rescue, she was baptized, received other sacraments, and became a religious sister in 1896. She lived out the rest of her life as a Cannossian sister, sharing her empowering testimony of faith and inner strength.
Her enslavement during her childhood was put to good use by sharing her testimony with others and advocating for human freedom and dignity. In October of 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Josephine Bakhita, noting that in this saint, “we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation.”
On February 8th
With encouragement from Pope Francis, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General designated February 8th as an annual day of prayer and reflection against human trafficking.
PLEASE join us in prayer on Thursday, February 8 in honor of
all current and past victims of human trafficking.
We offer the prayer below that was written by
our very own Sr. Veronica Piccone, MSC.
Prayer to End Human Trafficking
O Lord, you said you came: “to set the captives free.”
In our world, young men and women who are trafficked are modern day slaves.
Help these young people not to lose hope.
Give the grace for elected officials to grow in awareness of
and to take active steps to eradicate this horror.
Teach them not to prosecute the victims of trafficking
but to bring to justice those who perpetrate this crime.
Lord, give the grace of conversion to those
who mistreat unfortunates for their own personal gain.
May demand decrease as people realize that prostitution is a crime
against human dignity, forced upon these people,
who are more victim than anything else.
May the awareness of this horrendous crime
spread throughout the world
and may many join the efforts to stop trafficking
and help the victims begin anew, filled with hope.
We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO PLACE The National Human Trafficking Hotline phone number in your cell phone. It is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls, texts, emails, and now, live chats from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages. The Trafficking Hotline’s mission is to connect human trafficking victims and survivors to critical support and services to get help and stay safe. The Trafficking Hotline offers round-the-clock access to a safe space to report tips, seek services, and ask for help.
Call 1-888-373-7888 | Text 233733 (Befree) | Live Chat