Diocesan News

Only in Print: St. Josephine Bakhita Imbues Hope for Human Trafficking Survivors

St. Josephine Bakhita is represented in this statue by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz in this photo released by the Holy See Press Office Feb. 3, 2022. St. Bakhita, who was sold into slavery as a child, is the patron saint of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, which is marked on her Feb. 8 feast day. (CNS photo/courtesy Holy See Press Office)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — A Sudanese girl’s childhood of torturous abuse — endured after she was kidnapped and held captive during  the African slave trade of the mid-to-late 1800s — would understandably scar anyone for life. 

Despite that horrific experience, Josephine Bakhita chose to love. She eventually reached Italy, where she won her freedom, embraced Catholicism, and became a nun. 

She once said, “If I were to meet the slave traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me…

The rest of this article can be found exclusively in the March 11 printed version of The Tablet. You can buy it at church for $1, or you can receive future editions of the paper in your mailbox at a discounted rate by subscribing hereThank you for supporting Catholic journalism.