St Josephine Bakhita – Day of Prayer, Reflection & Action
The Feast Day of Saint Josephine Bakhita will be celebrated on Tuesday 8 February. She is the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. On this day all Catholics are encouraged to pray for those affected by slavery and human trafficking. It is also a time to pray for and support the efforts of those who work tirelessly to eradicate this crime.
Saint Bakhita, also known as ‘Mother Moretta’, was kidnapped in Africa at the age of nine and sold into slavery before her suffering was alleviated in 1882 when she was taken into the home of the Italian Consul. She later entered a second Italian home, where she received kindness, respect, peace and joy.
A change in her owner’s circumstances meant that she was entrusted to the Canossian Sisters and over the next 50 years she was a source of encouragement through her constant smile, humility and simplicity.
Surrounded by the sisters, she died on 8 February 1947, a date now designated as a day of prayer, reflection and action to end the injustice of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a global issue that requires international collaboration to address the personal circumstances of those who are abused and at risk, as well as addressing the structural causes of this evil.