St. Josephine Bakhita was Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan. When she was seven years old she was kidnapped and sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means fortunate. She was resold several times, many times into abusive families, ultimately resulting in over 114 scars.
Her final family was to the friend of the Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan where she became a nanny for the family. Josephine accompanied the children to Venice’s Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While with the Sisters, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine.
When her owner returned from his travels, he wanted Jospehine and his children back with them, but Josephine refused to go. A court case ensued and the judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885.
In 1893 Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa and made her profession three years later. In her years as a Sister, she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery, and welcoming visitors and was well loved by the children attending the sisters’ school and the local citizens.
Why a sun?
Our St. Josephine charm features a sun, as well as the words St. Josephine Pray for Us. ☀️
The sun represents the way that St. Josephine’s life shown like the sun in little ways – her cooking, cleaning, and answering the door. She did not write any great works or do any miracles, but she loved exceptionally in everything she did, allowing her quiet work to echo loudly throughout the world.
Josephine is a special friend to:
- Chefs (Josephine spent much of her time doing these tasks while serving her fellow Sisters).
- Social butterflies
- Victims and activists fighting human trafficking
- Those suffering deeply in mind and body
She is patron saint of Sudan and her feast day is February 8.
Josephine once said, “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!” Josephine is a shining example that life can be tough (awful at times!) but when you discover the love and grace of God, forgiveness and peace are right there, too.
Head here for more info on St Josephine Bakhita.
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