Today (February 8) we recognize the annual World Day of Prayer and Reflection Against Human Trafficking. The day coincides with the memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita, the Sudanese sister who was enslaved as a child.
After praying the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square this past Sunday, His Holiness Pope Francis acknowledged the day saying, “Today too many brothers and sisters are deceived with false promises and are then subjected to exploitation and abuse.”
“Let us all join to counter the dramatic global phenomenon of human trafficking,” the Holy Father concluded.
St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born in 1869 in Darfur, known in present day as Sudan. When she was a young child she was abducted and sold into slavery. She was eventually placed into the care of the Canossian nuns in Venice where she was introduced to Christianity for the first time. Bakhita went on to profess vows and joined the Canossian Sisters in 1896 after three years as a novitiate. She died on February 8, 1947 after years of illness and pain and was declared a Saint in 2000.
St. Josephine Bakhita pray for the victims of human trafficking, and for all of us.