Saint Josephine Bakhita


Saint Josephine Marguerite Bakhita was born in 1869 in Sudan. As a child, she was kidnapped, enslaved, sold, and tortured. Eventually, in Italy, Saint Josephine Bakhita met the Canossian Sisters.

While she was with the Sisters, she asked to be taught about God. She became a catechumen, and discovered a call to become a religious sister. After a legal battle for her freedom, Saint Josephine Bakhita joined the Sisters in 1893. She received all three sacraments of initiation on the same day: baptism, holy communion, and confirmation. The Archbishop who gave her these sacraments later became pope. We know him today as St. Pius X.

For the rest of her life, she worked as a cook and doorkeeper at the convent. Sometimes she would tell her story to sisters who were preparing to go to Africa.

Saint Josephine Bakhita lived through World War II. Her tiny Italian village considered her its protector, because not one citizen died when the village was bombed.

Saint Josephine Bakhita once said, "If I were to meet the slave-traders, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and religious today!" She is the patron of Sudan. When bad things happen in our lives, let us ask Saint Josephine Bakhita to help us remember that God has a plan for us and that He loves us.