Friday, 8 February 2019

# Saints

Saint Josephine Bakhita


The 8th of February is the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakhita F.D.C.C. (ca. 1869 – 8 February 1947). She is the patron saint of Sudan and her feast day is dedicated as the International Day of Prayer to Stop Human Trafficking.

Saint Josephine Bakhita’s family were wealthy Sudanese living near Darfur. However, she when she was nine years old, she was kidnapped and became a slave. She was renamed Bakhita, meaning “fortunate” in Arabic by her kidnapper and was sold and resold, being maltreated by her owners until 1883 where she was purchased by an Italian consul. He treated her well, and they lived in Italy where she worked as a nanny until 1889 where the Italian government declared her to be free. She stayed in Italy and became a baptised Catholic in 1890, receiving her First Holy Communion from the future Pope St Pius X. She changed her name to Josephine, a Christian name, and entered the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity in 1896. She was nicknamed “Our Black Mother” by the Italians for her spirit and warm heart. She was recognised for her charity towards the children and the poor.

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