Saint Josephine Bakhita
St. Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869 in a small village in Sudan. One day while in the fields, she was kidnapped by slave traders. When her captors asked for her name, she was too terrified to answer so they gave her the name Bakhita, which means "fortunate" in Arabic. The first few years of Bakhita's life in slavery were full of suffering. She was repeatedly tortured and beaten. Bakhita bore her suffering bravely. After being sold five times, Bakhita was purchased by the Italian consul to Sudan. He eventually took her with him to Italy to work as a nanny. She was sent to a school run by the Canossian Sisters. During her time there, she became interested in the Catholic faith and was baptized with the name Josephine Margaret. A short time later, Michieli wanted to make Josephine return to Sudan with his daughter but she refused. The disagreement made its way to the Italian courts where it was decided Josephine could stay in Italy because slavery was illegal. Josephine won her freedom! Living happily in her new found freedom, Josephine felt a call to serve Christ as a nun. She entered the Canossian Order in 1893. She was sent to northern Italy where she dedicated her life to work in the religious community and teaching others to love God simply as she did. Josephine was well known for her beautiful smile, her gentleness, and her holiness. Children loved to gather around her to learn the faith, which she spoke of so lovingly. After 45 years, Josephine died peacefully on February 8, 1947. For three days, her body lay in state and thousands of mourners came to pay their respects to Sor Moretta.
Feast Day: February 8
Patron Saint of Sudan
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