February 8 has been declared by Pope Francis as the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, Canossian Sister, survivor and patron saint of trafficked people.
Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped as a little girl and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once she was eventually freed she dedicated her life to sharing her story of deliverance from slavery and bringing comfort to the poor and suffering
This year the theme of her feast day is : ” They are Children: Not Slaves!” This theme was chosen by Talitha Kum, an international network of religious, established in 2009 to take a stand against trafficking in persons. (Talitha Kum is an expression from Mark’s Gospel 5:41 where Jesus is quoted as saying “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”)
We are invited to make this a day of prayer, reflection and action to help eliminate human trafficking in all it’s forms. In the words of Sr Anne Tormey RSM, Chairperson of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) “Our prayer on this day becomes one of lamentation for the millions of women, children and men trafficked across the globe for human slavery…. this day can be an opportunity to learn about trafficking globally and locally, to pray for the victims of human trafficking and for an end to slave.
For further information about St Josephine Bakhita click on the following you tube clip: