Join ACRATH in celebrating the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita on 8 February 2017, the day Pope Francis has designated the world day of prayer, reflection and action against human trafficking.
On the feast of St Bakhita, the patron saint of the Sudan and of victims of slavery, we join a global movement declared by Pope Francis three years ago and promoted by Talitha Kum (UISG-USG), the worldwide Network of Religious Life against Trafficking in Persons. Talitha Kum (UISG-USG) has declared the theme of this year’s feast day celebrations, which are likely to be celebrated at Masses on the weekend of February 11 and 12: They are children! Not slaves!
St Josephine Bakhita, who died on 8 February 1947, was born in Southern Sudan in 1869, and during her life experienced kidnapping and slavery in both Sudan and Italy. After gaining her freedom Josephine Bakhita dedicated her life to sharing her story and to supporting the poor and suffering. She eventually became a Canossian Sister and was canonised in 2000.
Like Josephine Bakhita, millions of children are trafficked into domestic servitude every year. They are also trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography production, forced marriage, illegal adoption, forced labour, and to become child soldiers.
ACRATH has developed the following resources for Parishes and school communities:
- A St Josephine Bakhita poster to display in your community
- A statement from the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life and Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) embargoed until 7 February 2017 – for dissemination in your community.
- A brief notice for parish or school bulletins
- Homily notes for Masses on the weekend of 11 & 12 February
- Prayers of intercession for Masses on the weekend of 11 & 12 February, or for inclusion at school assemblies
Find ACRATH’s Bakhita Day resources at: http://acrath.org.au/world-day-of-prayer/