February 8 is the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a day chosen by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace as a day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. You may remember that St. Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869 and enslaved as a child. Eventually she was sold to an Italian diplomat and taken to Italy, where she was later brought to freedom through the help of the Canossian Daughters of Charity. Through their guidance, she learned about God and served him faithfully until her death in 1947.
Human Trafficking is one of the corporate stances made by the Springfield Dominican Sisters:
Building on our Consistent Ethic of Life stance that “we reverence the sacredness of life and address injustice in a spirit of respect, compassion, and solidarity,” we Dominican Sisters of Springfield oppose the trafficking of human persons, especially that of women and children. We will continue to educate ourselves. We will support those efforts that work toward ending this unconscionable abuse of the community of life. June, 2014
Prayer to St. Josephine Bakhita
Feast Day: February 8th
you were sold into slavery as a child
in your home country of Sudan
and endured unimaginable suffering.
After you became free of your physical enslavement,
you lived your life dedicated to others.
We wish to follow your example and do what we can
to release other women, men, and children from their captivity.
May we help to provide the necessary resources for those released
from the unfathomable horrors of human trafficking.
May we be steadfast in our commitment,
no matter how long it takes.
May we be the living embodiment of faith, hope, and love
as survivors of trafficking strive to heal from their wounds
and experience the freedoms guaranteed by the United Nations.
May we influence the United States and our home state
to be strong advocates against the devastation of human trafficking.
–Rose Mary Meyer, BVM
What you can do to help
Put the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline number 1-888-373-7888 in your phone contacts. Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking. All reports are confidential and you may remain anonymous. Interpreters are available.