The Story of Saint Josephine Bakhita

By Katie Mahon, Communications Manager


This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Inspiration.

Embracing Faith Through Inspiration

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is God

who goes with you. God will not leave you or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6


February 8th is International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking and the Feast Day of Saint Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint of Human Trafficking.


As we remember Saint Josephine on her Feast Day, please take a moment to learn about her inspiring story and all that she overcame.


Josephine Bakhita, born in 1869 in the Darfur region of Sudan, was first kidnapped by Arab slave traders as a child, and for nearly 12 years, she was sold and given away over a dozen times. It was reported that she even forgot her original name since she spent so much time in captivity. (1)


It would not be until the 1880s that Josephine would be placed in the custody of the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice, Italy. (1)


During that time was when Josephine became in touch with her faith as she learned about God from the sisters and became so profoundly moved by her time with them that she discerned a call to pursue religious life. (1)


Shortly after, Josephine would have to fight alongside the sisters in court for her freedom, and fortunately, she was freed and chose to stay with them. (1)


Soon after gaining her freedom, she was baptized and received her First Communion and Confirmation. In 1893, she became a novice with the Canossians then took her final vows in 1896. (1)


For the remainder of her life, she ministered at her convent and traveled to other religious organizations to share her story. When discussing her enslavement, she even thanked her kidnappers as she would have never gotten to know Jesus Christ and enter the Church. (1)


Josephine Bakhita eventually passed away in 1947, and in 1958 the process of her canonization began under Pope John XXIII. (1)