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While slavery has been illegal in most places for more than a hundred years, it still exists today, though generally under the radar. Humans around the world continue to be treated as objects to be bought and sold for a price.
It is a great crime against humanity, something that St. Josephine Bakhita experienced firsthand.
Bakhita was taken by slave traders when she was around seven years old and remained enslaved for many years until she was bought by an Italian. She was eventually set free and became a Canossian Sister in Italy. Despite the horrible treatment she endured, Bakhita had a firm faith in God and forgave her captors, saying, “If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands. For, if these things had not happened, I would not have been a Christian and a religious today.”
Below is a prayer distributed by the USCCBin honor of St. Josephine Bakhita that asks for her intercession for the healing of present-day victims.
St. Josephine Bakhita, you were sold into slavery as a child
and endured untold hardship and suffering.
Once liberated from your physical enslavement,
you found true redemption in your encounter with
Christ and his Church.
O St. Bakhita, assist all those who are trapped in a state of slavery;
Intercede with God on their behalf
so that they will be released from their chains of captivity.
Those whom man enslaves, let God set free.
Provide comfort to survivors of slavery
and let them look to you as an example of hope and faith.
Help all survivors find healing from their wounds.
We ask for your prayers and intercessions for
those enslaved among us.
Modern slavery: The challenge, who’s responsible, and possible solutions