St. Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947)
“It is an act of justice for the rich to help the poor.”
St. Josephine Bakhita was born in southern Sudan. At seven years old, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Through the course of five different owners, she spent twelve years as a slave, ending up in Italy as a caretaker for a young child.
Bakhita’s fight for freedom began when she refused to return to Africa with her “owners”. She won her case in court with the judge concluding that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she was free. During her trial, Josephine had the help of the Canossian Sisters, who she later joined in 1890. She said that she forgave her captors because without them she would never have discovered the gift of faith.
She continued to work in Italy with Canossian Sisters and became known for her faith and kindness. In 2000, Josephina Bakhita was canonised by the Catholic Church and today is known as the patron saint of human trafficking and slavery. Her story is known to be an example of Christian hope.
You can read more about Josephine Bakhita at Fransiscan Media