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St. Josephine Bakhita: Who she is and why we are celebrating

Here at The Little Rose Shop, we love to celebrate the saints and incorporate the lives of the saints into our own lives to educate our children, celebrate the lives of the saints and to explore the exquisite uniqueness to each individual who made it to heaven. 

St. Josephine Bakhita is one of these fabulous humans who we have much to learn from. Her tragic yet inspiring story is one that happened not that long ago, and her trials and patroness are unfortunately still necessary and needed for today. 

Here are a few quick facts:

-Josephine was born in South Sudan but was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the age of 8. 

-She suffered torture, abuse and mutilation so much so that she forgot the name given to her at birth.

-At the age of 14, she was made a nanny for an Italian family and learned about the Lord while caring for a Christian child

-While in Italy, she was freed from slavery and became baptized, confirmed and then joined a religious order

- She is the patron saint of Sudan and Africa, as against human trafficking

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI considered St Bakhita as an ‘exemplary witness of hope’, in his encyclical, Spe Salvi:

She was known and loved and she was awaited. What is more, this master had himself accepted the destiny of being flogged and now he was waiting for her “at the Father’s right hand”. Now she had “hope” —no longer simply the modest hope of finding masters who would be less cruel, but the great hope: “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.” Through the knowledge of this hope she was “redeemed”, no longer a slave, but a free child of God.”

The feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita is an opportunity for us as Catholics to pray for and address the modern day perils and tragedy of human trafficking. 

Here is how you can help:

  1. Pray the Rosary for an end to trafficking. Follow along with us at The Little Rose Shop. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  2. Pray the Stations of the Cross for Victims of Human Trafficking
  3. Donate to the Alliance to End Human Trafficking, a Catholic faith based organization to prevent the assault on human dignity and assist surviors to live fulfilling lives
  4. On a lighter note, make an Italian dish for dinner or try a Sudanese dish from Josephine’s country of origin! 
  5. Download our free coloring page and contemplate the life of this resilient saint.