As a young girl Josephine was sold on slave-markets in north Africa several times. Like other slaves she suffered indignity and abuse. Eventually she was taken to Italy by a caring family where she converted to Christianity and later became a nun. Because of and through their suffering some people are blessed with a particularly strong love of God and for which she has been canonised.
Although there is much more awareness of human dignity and rights today human trafficking is a modern form of slavery conducted for financial gain in many countries and in many forms. Women and girls, exploited and used as sex slaves, are particularly vulnerable. Suffering does help us to identify with Jesus and brings us closer to God. However we are called to work for alleviation of all suffering.
O God, who led Saint Josephine Bakhita from abject slavery to the dignity of being your daughter and a bride of Christ, grant, we pray, that by her example we may show constant love for the Lord Jesus crucified, remaining steadfast in charity and prompt to show compassion. Collect for feast of St Josephine Bakhita.
Pope Francis: The experience of mercy enables us to regard all human problems from the standpoint of God’s love. MM 14
TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING DAY.