Saint Josephine Bakhita

 

Bakhita Village and Bakhita Charities take their names from their patron, Saint Josephine Bakhita.  This amazingly strong woman made it from life as an ill-treated slave to become a unifying symbol for African Catholics and women.  She is the first African to be declared a Catholic saint since the early centuries of Christianity.  Her feast day is February 8.

 

Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan, Africa to a loving, and prosperous family. At nine years old, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery, where a series of owners humiliated, tortured and mutilated her.  Although she suffered terribly as a slave, her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed.  She is an inspiring symbol of transformation, a woman of faith and forgiveness.

 

At her canonization on October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II said, "In Josephine Bakhita, we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation. The history of her life inspires not passive acceptance but the firm resolve to work effectively to free girls and women from oppression and violence, and to return them to their dignity in the full exercise of their rights."