JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, MARTYRED SLAVE AND SYMBOL OF HOPE
Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped when she was about seven years old; she was then sold several times as a slave and martyred. She was submitted to the torture of skin branding and tattooing when her skin was slashed 114 times with a sharp knife – six of these cuts were made on her breasts, 60 on her lower torso, and 48 on one of her arms. These cuts were filled with salt so that they would widen and leave beautiful scars. More than half the women who endured such tortures died of septic infections.
She was asked one day by a seminarian what she would do if she met the people who kidnapped her, tortured her and sold her; she responded:
“I would kneel in front of them and kiss their hands, because if all this had not happened to me I would not be a Christian today, nor would I be a religious sister.”
Extract from the encyclical “Spe Salvi” (“Saved through Hope”) by Pope Benedict XVI.
“The example of a saint of our times…can help us understand what it means to meet God, for the first time and in full light. I think of the African Josephine Bakhita, canonized by Pope John Paul II…It is easy to understand that the experience of this young African slave Bakhita was also the experience of so many beaten women, forced into slavery in the early times of Christianity”
Let Us Pray
Let us pray for the victims of sexual slavery and sexual exploitation.
Let us pray for the victims of servitude, forced labor, and modern slavery
Let us pray for the victims of organ trafficking and all human body exploitation.
Let us pray for all victims of forced begging.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6
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World Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking
Summary - February 8th is the World Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking: for this occasion, let us pray to St. Josephine Bakhita, who experienced the sufferings of slavery. Discover the community