St Josephine Bakhita, Virgin – 08 Feb
Born to a wealthy Sudanese family, she was kidnapped by slave-traders at age 9, and given the name Bakhita (lucky) by them. Sold and resold in the markets at El Obeid and Khartoum, finally purchased in 1883 by Callisto Legnani, Italian consul who planned to free her. She accompanied Legnani to Italy in 1885, and worked as a nanny for the family of Augusto Michieli. She was treated well in Italy and grew to love the country. An adult convert the Christianity, she joined the Church on 9 January 1890, she took the name of Josephine as a symbol of her new life.
She entered the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice, Italy in 1893, taking her vows on 8 December 1896 in Verona, Italy and serving as a Canossian Sister for the next fifty years. Her gentle presence, her warm, amiable voice, and her willingness to help with any menial task were a comfort to the poor and suffering people who came to the door of the Institute. After a biography of her was published in 1930, she became a noted and sought after speaker, raising funds to support missions.
Her feast has been designated the International Day of Prayer to Stop Human Trafficking.
She was born in 1868 at Oglassa, Darfur, Sudan and died on 8 February, 1947 of natural causes in Italy.
O God, Father of mercy, you have given us Blessed Josephine Bakhita as a “universal sister”, an evangelical model of humble faith and ardent charity. Grant also to us the will to believe and to love in the spirit of the gospel, and listen favorably to the prayers of those who ask for intercession. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. – prayer for the canonization of Saint Josephine
O Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for the gifts of humility and charity which you bestowed on Saint Josephine Bakhita Deign to glorify her for her singular virtues and grant the prayers of those who invoke her, Amen – prayer for the virtues of Saint Josephine
Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, ‘Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?’ I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage. – Saint Josephine Bakhita
I have given everything to my Master: He will take care of me… The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us! – Saint Josephine Bakhita
I received the Sacrament of Baptism with such joy that only angels could describe… – Saint Josephine Bakhita
O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your Goodness at the top of my voice: oh, how many souls would be won! – Saint Josephine Bakhita