THE CATHOLIC FEAST
DATE: FEBRUARY 08
NAME: SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA
HER LIFE PROFILE
Saint Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan, Africa, in 1869.
When she was a child, she was captured and sold as a slave and suffered harsh treatment.
The name “Bakhita,” which means “fortunate,” was given to her in sarcasm by the people who kidnapped her.
Bakhita was taken to Italy and put into service as a nanny. She was sent to live with the Canossian Sisters in Venice. From the sisters she learned about God and Christianity. In time, she asked to be baptized, and took the name Josephine.
At the age of forty–one, Josephine felt God calling her to become one of the sisters.
The Canossian Sisters accepted her into their community.
For twenty–five years, Sister Josephine carried out humble services in the convent. She cooked, sewed, took care of the chapel and answered the door.
During World War I, Sister Josephine helped to care for the wounded. She became known for her kindness and goodness. She was a source of comfort and encouragement to everyone who came to her in need.
Someone once asked Sister Josephine how she would react if she ever met the people who had kidnapped her. She answered,
“I would kiss their hands to thank them for giving me the chance to become a Christian and a sister.”
As Sister Josephine grew older, her health began to decline. She continued to live a life of loving kindness and faith even in sickness and pain.
As her death drew near, she said, “Why should I be afraid to die? Death brings us to God, and I love God and want to be with Him.”
Sister Josephine Bakhita died at the age of seventy–eight. Her last words were “Our Lady! Our Lady!
She was canonized on October 1, 2000, by Pope John Paul II. St. Josephine is the patron saint of the Christian Sudanese people who still suffer persecution for their faith.
Let us learn from Saint Josephine Bakhita to put our trust in God when we have problems or when we have something to suffer. God, Who loves us without limits, can bring good even out of bad circumstances.
Father, in Your great mercy You have freed Sant Josephine, virgin, from slavery in order to lead her to the dignity of being Your daughter and the spouse of Christ.
Grant us the grace to imitate her great love for Jesus crucified and to persevere in the practice of charity and forgiveness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen!
SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA,
PRAY FOR US.