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Patron Saint

St. Josephine Bakhita

Patron Saint

On February 8, 2006 Children of Hope and Faith was at a crossroads. Would it go forward or be unable to develop into a charitable organization? It was the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita, known for being an African saint. Her intercession was sought. Problems were solved and she became our Patron Saint!

Josephine Bakhita was born about 1869 in southern Sudan, Africa. She was abducted from her home and sold into slavery when she was nine years old. Her name “Bakhita” was actually given to her by one of her captors. Its means “the lucky one”; a cruel joke given she was a slave. She suffered beatings, whipping, and a painful form of tattooing made with incisions and salt. She was eventually sold to an Italian vice-consul and brought to Italy. She became a nanny for Mimmina, a child of a wealthy woman. They were both boarded at the convent of the Daughters of Charity of Canossa in Venice to be instructed in the Catholic faith. When the “owner” came to retrieve them, Josephine refused to leave. She did not want to risk losing God by leaving the convent. She was baptized and lived over 50 years as a Canossian sister.

St. Josephine once said, “If I were to meet the slave traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and religious today.” Josephine was sent at times to travel around Italy to encourage support for the missions and vocations even though she desired to return to Africa to help convert her own people. When she was home in the convent, she worked as a cook, seamstress, sacristan and , eventually, as a portress. Her work at the door of the convent brought her into contact with those outside – the poor, the ill, and stories of miracles began to be told. Her life ended in 1947 after four years of grievous illness which she bore with patience and cheerfulness.

Josephine Bakhita was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. In his Encyclical Saved In Hope, Pope Benedict XVI highlighted her as a modern day saint who exemplifies the virtue of hope.

Quote from St. Josephine Bakhita

"I have given everything to my Master: He will take care of me… The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us!"

Favorite Prayer of St. Josephine Bakhita

Be good, Love the Lord,
Pray for those who do not know God,
What a great grace it is to know God!