St. Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of the Sudan, human trafficking survivors and of our foundation. Her feast day is February 8th.
She was born in 1869, in a small village in Darfur, region of Sudan. She was a member of the Daju people and her uncle was a tribal chief. Due to her family lineage, she grew up happy and relatively prosperous, saying that as a child, she did not know suffering. While still a young girl around 7 years old, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Her captors asked for her name but in her fear, and as a result of the trauma, she was unable to remember. Mocking her, they named her “Bakhita,” which means “fortunate”.
During her time of captivity she was tortured by her various owners. She suffered brandings and beatings on many occasions. Once her owners cut her 114 times and poured salt in her wounds to make sure that the scars remained.
During these early years of her life, she did not know Christ but she did believe in a Creator and had great awe and wonder for His creation.
Eventually, after exchanging hands five or six times, St. Bakhita found herself serving as a caretaker for a young girl at a school in Venice run by Canossian Sisters. Bakhita was very intrigued by the Catholic faith . She learned many things from the sisters and was eventually baptized by the name “Josephine Margaret”.Read More »