Bakhita says: "During all the years I stayed in that house, I do not recall a day that passed without some wound or other. It was then that we felt how in these years the passage from testimony to devotion was taking place. The Pope prayed to Saint Bakhita and asked that she intercede and assist trafficking victims. When speaking of her enslavement, she often professed she would thank her kidnappers. She is a shining ray of hope for human trafficking victims and an inspirational demonstration of how a victim can recover from their trauma and become whole again. At some point during her captivity she was given the name Bakhita, which is Arabic for fortunate., One of her early captors forced her to serve as a maid. Pope Francis visits with children in Budapest with visual impairments. Read her story here. The assignment was easy until she offended her owner's son, possibly for the crime of breaking a vase. For her arrival in Italy, there had been no need for a passport. Pope John Paul II canonized Josephine Bakhita in 2000. On 29 November 1889, at the Catechumens, something similar to a trial took place regarding her choice not to return to the life of slavery, and she was declared free. Saint of the Day for Monday, May 1st, 2023. In 1902 she was assigned to the Canossian convent at Schio, in the northern Italian province of Vicenza, where she spent the rest of her life. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. Indeed, she spent twelve years in cruel slavery. What Do All Saints Day and Halloween Have in Common? She was often beaten and kicked and whipped. Author and Publisher - Catholic Online. LIVED: Bakhita was born in 1869 in Sudan. St. Josephine Bakhita, in full Josephine Margaret Bakhita, also called Mother Josephine Bakhita, (born c. 1869, Olgossa, Darfur (now in Sudan)died February 8, 1947, Schio, Italy; canonized October 1, 2000; feast day February 8), Sudanese-born Roman Catholic saint who survived kidnapping and enslavement. Continue reading about St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Josephine Bakhita 14 Karat Gold Filled Pendant, St. Josephine Bakhita Pendant (14 Karat Gold Filled), Submit a Rosary Prayer Request to be Read Live Online. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Learn more about the people of Sudan and the ongoing conflict in their country. Two years later, he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Yes, she is a Catholic saint, but her story can serve as an inspiration to all, no matter what their religious beliefs may be. One year later, when Mrs Michieli returned to take her daughter and Bakhita back to Suakin, she refused for the first time. During the war, because of her colour, she was also mistaken for being a spy, but she did not get upset, she accompanied those who wanted to arrest her to where she lived and, showing them the window in her room, explained that since her arrival in Italy she had received the gift of vocation. On December 1st, 1978, Pope John Paul II declared her venerable. She was a member of the Daju people and her uncle was a tribal chief. [24], The petitions for her canonization began immediately, and the process commenced by Pope John XXIII in 1959, twelve years after her death. Saint Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born around 1869 in the village of Olgossa in the Darfur region of Sudan . These three sacraments are the sacraments of initiation into the Church and were always given together in the early Church. An example followed by her successors, who pointed her out both to scholars and the poor, declaring her patroness of the victims and those who work to free people from all slavery, touching the flesh of Christ in those they serve. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. For the next 42 years of her life, she worked as a cook and a doorkeeper at the convent. The colour of her skin had either frightened or attracted the little ones, who thought she was made of chocolate, and intrigued the grown-ups, who had never seen people of other ethnic groups; but that very colour became the privilege given them to have known and loved someone who was different, and to receive love in return. Due to her family lineage, she grew up happy and relatively prosperous, saying that as a child, she did not know suffering. Those who lived with her still permit us to meet her: smiling like a mother, serene and calm because she has no enemies while expressing herself with affectionate tenderness. According to Josephine, she had always known about God, who created all things, but she did not know who He was. Her story is noteworthy. In her later years, she began to suffer physical pain and was forced to use a wheelchair. Towards the end of her testimony at the canonization process, where she recounted her meetings with Mother Bakhita which inspired her first biography entitled Storia meravigliosa(Tale of Wonder) in 1931, she said: When I wrote the story of Bakhita I scrupulously followed the accounts and considerations that Mother Bakhita had told me in Venice. Saint Bakhitas feast day is celebrated on February 8. Josephine was declared free on the grounds that slavery was not recognized in Italy and had been outlawed in Darfur before her birth. Josephine Bakhita, you were sold into slavery as a child Spanish court to investigate artists for exhibiting blasphemous sculptures, Full text of Bishop Paul Coakleys pastoral letter on gender dysphoria, transgender movement, Hundreds of faithful gather in prayer for Pope Francis at Budapests oldest parish church, Pope Francis says he did not lose consciousness before hospitalization in March, Pope Francis warns of technological domination, threat to human ecology at university in Hungary, The Good Shepherd calls us to open our hearts to love, Pope Francis says at Mass in Hungary, TEXT: Dont be couch potatoes! Pope Francis urges youth. and faith. Meet St. Josephine Bakhita! She who worked under many masters was finally happy to address God as master and carry out everything that she believed to be Gods will for her. She was forced to walk barefoot about 960 kilometres (600mi) to El-Obeid and was sold and bought twice before she arrived there. Since the villa in Zianigo was already sold, Bakhita and Mimmina needed a temporary place to stay while Micheli went to Sudan without them. He had destined me for better things.. Saint Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born around 1869 in the village of Olgossa in the Darfur region of Sudan. Her last years were marked by pain and sickness. Printable Catholic Saints PDFs. Vatican City, Feb 3, 2022 / 10:15 am (CNA). This ironic new name did not describe the brutal and humiliating treatment Bakhita received on a daily basis. She told about how the general's wife ordered her to be scarred. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. Her kidnappers gave her the name Bakhita, meaning "fortunate. We ask for your prayers and intercessions for those enslaved among us. Read his story here. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. In 1877, when she was 7-8 years old, she was seized by Arab slave traders, who had abducted her elder sister two years earlier. Bakhita, the first canonized Sudanese saint, led the way for those who today seek among us hope for their life. Surrounded by the sisters, she died at age 78. What did she do while she was ministering She ministered as a cook, seamstress, sacristan, and doorkeeper, living simply and lovingly. St Josephine Bakhita, also known as 'Mother Moretta' was kidnapped at the age of nine and sold into slavery. Her gentleness, calming voice, and the ever-present smile became well known and Vicenzans still refer to her as Sor Moretta ("little brown sister") or Madre Moretta ("black mother"). Episcopal Church in the United States of America, "AFROL Background Josephine Bakhita an African Saint", "Canossian Daughters of Charity Who We Are", Black Catholic Theology: A Historical Perspective,, 20th-century Italian Roman Catholic religious sisters and nuns, Sudanese Roman Catholic religious sisters and nuns, Christian female saints of the Late Modern era, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using Template:Post-nominals with customized linking, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, 1 October 2000, St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II, This page was last edited on 28 April 2023, at 15:04. She left Venice and arrived in Schio in 1902, after simply replying: Yes, Father, to the question concerning her transfer. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. St. Josephine BakhitaA Model of Faith. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery, and welcoming visitors at the door. Which services in your area address the needs of women and children in poverty? She was a member of the Daju people and her uncle was a tribal chief., Pope Francis venerating St. Josephine Bakhita. Her uncle was a tribal chief, and her family was relatively prosperous. Slaves also served to vent the anger of their masters who found sadistic pleasure in hearing them cry out in pain. She was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery, eventually working in Italy as a nanny for a wealthy family. A bronze sculpture of Saint Josephine Bakhita, patron of trafficking victims, will be installed in the Vatican. On 29 November 1889, an Italian court ruled that because the British had outlawed slavery in Sudan before Bakhita's birth and because Italian law had never recognized slavery as legal, Bakhita had never legally been a slave. She seems to be always ready, on the right hand of her Master, ready to become his spokesperson to help us and support us in the trials of life. Newsletter Signup Later in life, she devoted herself to promoting Catholic missions to Africa. Renew your gift subscription The Canossian Sisters went to court on her behalf and helped her obtain her freedom. This project was carried out in collaboration between the municipality and the diocesan Caritas. Under their care, Josephine was drawn to the Roman Catholic Church. Saints for kids, Two Suitcases: The Story of St. Josephine Bakhita. But she always remained cheerful. Her historical experience suggests anthropological and spiritual reflections that amazingly manifest the divine imprint of the Creator in a good heart which the harshness of slavery, torture and tireless work have revealed almost as a precious metal purified by fire. [11] She lived there for three years and became nanny to the Michieli's daughter Alice, known as 'Mimmina', born in February 1886. In 1883, the Turkish general sold her to the Italian Vice Consul, Callisto Legani. / Holy See Press Office. She was known for her gentle voice and smile. Her only extended time away was between 1935 and 1939, when she stayed at the Missionary Novitiate in Vimercate (Milan); mostly visiting other Canossian communities in Italy, talking about her experiences and helping to prepare young sisters for work in Africa. Bakhita Charities is named after her. Selling his house and lands took longer than expected. Her own story, in turn, can serve as a balm for others. Bakhita became devoted to the child. She was deeply moved by her time with the sisters and discerned a call to follow Christ. She was five years old when her older sister was kidnapped and when Bakhita was about seven years old, she experienced the same tragedy herself. Shop St. Josephine Bakhita. [20], On 7 December 1893, Josephine Bakhita entered the novitiate of the Canossian Sisters and on 8 December 1896, she took her vows, welcomed by Cardinal Sarto. She lived a very humble and simple life in the convent doing various jobs such as cooking, sewing, embroidering, and attending to the door of the convent. Provide comfort to survivors of slavery and let them look to you as an example of hope In 2018, we published the testimonies of those who actually knew Mother Bakhita. Bakhita died at 8:10 PM on 8 February 1947. In March 1885 they left Suakin for Italy and arrived at the port of Genoa in April. The Michielis brought Bakhita with them back to the Sudan where they stayed for nine months before returning to Italy. If anyone asked her how she was, she would reply, "As the master desires.". She became a Canossian nun in December 1896 and remained at the convent for another 42 years. She was resold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. During her 42 years in Schio, Bakhita was employed as the cook, sacristan, and portress (doorkeeper) and was in frequent contact with the local community. 2023 Loyola Press. Also known as: Josephine Margaret Bakhita, Mother Josephine Bakhita. It wasnt long before Bakhita realized they were lost. On 17 May 1992, she was declared Blessed and given 8 February as her feast day. Even while she was outwardly denied freedom and human dignity, her spirit was free. Her body may have been devastated by cruelty, but not her soul, which was always aware of an innate dignity which only we can destroy in ourselves. She was declared free. Josephine Bakhita is the Patron Saint of Human Trafficking. She rubbed the wounds with salt to make the scars permanent. Thus, from 13 to 16 years old she experienced a Christian welcome and civil respect. Children who are now elderly, told us to call her Mother Moretta, because this is her name for us. (ca. She was given away to another family as a gift and she served them as a nanny. It was that freedom of spirit that allowed her to follow her heart and live her true vocation. He had destined me for better things." Saint Magdalene of Canossa referred to Venice as a city of projects; also from Venice came Gods dream for Mother Bakhita, who arrived at the Canossian Institute. When Bakhita was seven or eight, Arab slave traders kidnapped her and sold her into slavery. ATIs tools are designed to ensure that your efforts deliver effective results. Alice Michieli was born in Zianigo, the municipality of Mirano in the Veneto region, in 1886. When her mistress returned from Sudan, Josephine refused to leave. Sharing the Word for May 1, 2023 Fourth Week of Easter Year 1. He did not waver and was adamant that Bakhita was free and had the right to choose, since slavery no longer existed in Italy. As her mistress watched, ready with a whip, another woman drew patterns on her skin with flour, then cut into her flesh with a blade. Saint Angela of Foligno's feast day is February 28. Bakhita wished to stay in Italy when her owners readied for a relocation. Venezuelan migrant thanks God, recounts journey through dangerous jungle to U.S. Bakhita converted to Christianity and was baptized and confirmed in 1890. Permission Guidelines 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.. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. After only nine months, Bakhita unexpectedly left Africa with Mimmina who did not want to leave her behind. Historians believe that sometime in February 1877, Josephine was kidnapped by Arab slave traders. Known as Mimmina, she was treated like a daughter by Bakhita. She said, "during that time I could hear more and more clearly the gentle voice of the Lord, urging me to consecrate myself to God. These were her last audible words.[23]. She was loved by many in the city and was a bastion of comfort during the trials and bombings of World War II. He was a much kinder master and he did not beat her. As punishment, she was beaten so severely she was incapacitated for a month. Because, if those things had not happened, I would not have become a Christian and would not be a Sister today.. In some instances these are homes that hosted her during her life, and which have now been made available for humanitarian corridors as in Olate in the province of Lecco or they are employment training centres, even places to play football in high risk areas. Birth: 1869. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Dagnino, pp. Josephine was her confirmation name. It was during this time that she was introduced to formal religion and came to know the Daughters of Charity of Canossa, or the Canossian Sisters. She chose to remain with the Canossian Sisters. Today is Saturday," probably hoping that this would cheer her because Saturday is the day of the week dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus. As a slave, her experiences varied from fair treatment to cruel. (Fortunata is the Latin translation for her Arabic name, Bakhita). The sisters answered her questions. Indeed, realizing that she could not return home, little Bakhita, lifted up her innocent face and saw God. Zanini, Roberto Italo (2013). We serve youth, parents, and those on the frontlines of combatting human trafficking. The terrified girl was bought and sold at least two times over the next few months and forced to walk hundreds of miles on foot to a slave market in Al-Ubayyi in south-central Sudan. Corrections? [16] Two years later, when Legnani himself had to return to Italy, Bakhita begged to go with him. Bakhita: From Slave to Saint, p. 81. Her new owners took her to their family villa at Zianigo, near Mirano, Veneto, about 25km (16mi) west of Venice. Bakhita has come back to you. Everyone plays a rolein helping to end human trafficking. Biography [ edit] Early life [ edit] Her remains were translated to the Church of the Holy Family of the Canossian convent of Schio in 1969. In 1885, to avoid the danger to his life as a result ofpolitical unrest, Consul Legnani was forced to leave Africa and Bakhita convinced him to take her with him. She was known for her charisma and gentleness and even expressed gratitude that her past horrors had brought her to her current life. The figure pointed the way to go, and Bakhita led her companion in that direction. Faith can be an important component in the road to recovery for many survivors, as was the case for Bakhita. In her later years, she began to suffer physical pain and was forced to use a wheelchair. Everything in her reveals an inner order, a reflection of a healthy and good nature. (Fortunata is the Latin translation for her Arabic name, Bakhita). The feast of Saint Bakhita is in fact the day chosen by the Church to ask collectively for liberation from ancient and new contemporary slavery. Where would she be taken? state of slavery; Josephine wrote that as soon as one wound would heal, they would inflict another. This decentralization from herself manifested a creative generosity; for this was already the beginning of a path of redemption that rooted altruism in her. One of her owners was a Turkish general who gave her to his wife and mother-in-law who both beat her daily. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. Bakhita was grateful for the kindness she discovered in the heart of those who were so different from her, but she could not remember [the location of] her village. ", After prayer and discernment, Josephine joined the religious order, pronouncing her religious vows on 8 December 1896 at the age of 27. When she died her tenderness transfused into her mortal flesh and carried on attracting people. Melissa Petruzzello is Associate Editor of Plant and Environmental Science and covers a range of content from plants, algae, and fungi, to renewable energy and environmental engineering. She was seven years old when her good heart experienced the pain of seeing her companions unjustly suffer as slaves. Canonized: October 1, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She felt that she was always walking in the light, guided by the One she did not know, but who she knew was present in the circumstances that brought her to Italy, allowing her to know and love Jesus who for us who are His children was crucified, and she was joyful to belong to him as his bride. They brought her back to Italy to work as a maid and care giver to their baby, Mimmina. In the new house in Schio she found herself dressed like the other Canossian sisters, but so different from them as to arouse curiosity and the desire to meet her. She was tattooed with 114 deep cuts, which were filled with salt so that the design formed by the lip ofher scars remained; marks which remained white and stood out on her very black skin; the children, towhom she told her story, who are now elderly, still remember them. Bakhita was not a Christian, but she had always looked to the night sky and wanted to know the One who had created the moon and stars. Josephine Bakhita entered the convent in 1893 and took her vows December 8, 1896. I thought I would die, especially when salt was poured in the wounds it was by a miracle of God I didn't die. The girls passed long hours telling one another about their families and how they had been kidnapped. MISSION: As a girl, Bakhita would look up at the moon and stars, resolving to serve their Master. Saint Bakhita seems to be a made-to-measure saint to comfort the peace and reconciliation workers of our time. Bakhita is a saint in the Catholic Church. When Bakhita was seven or eight, Arab slave traders kidnapped her and sold her into slavery. She once said, Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. Watch Two Suitcases: The Story of St. Josephine Bakhita, available to stream or on DVD from Amazon. Her special charisma and reputation for sanctity were noticed by her order; the first publication of her story (Storia Meravigliosa by Ida Zanolini) in 1931, made her famous throughout Italy. "[10], She once said that the most terrifying of all of her memories there was when she (along with other slaves) was marked by a process resembling both scarification and tattooing, which was a traditional practice throughout Sudan. Death: February 8, 1947. As for many migrants today, she explained to those who asked her the reason for her choices, that if she had given in to the insistence to return to her land, she would have lost body and soul. In 1958, the process of canonization began for Josephine under Pope John XXIII. During World War II, the people of the village of Schio regarded her as their protector. Josephine wrote that as soon as one wound would heal, they would inflict another. Bakhita became a nanny for her new family, and she and her young charge lived at the convent run by the Canossian Sisters in Venice. Died: 1947 in Italy She has her M.S. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree. After that, she was sold. The assignment was easy until she offended her owner's son, possibly for the crime of breaking a vase. Then salt was poured into the open wounds to ensure it would scar. Learn about their countries of origin, customs, and current needs. Free with the freedom of the saints. . She passed away on February 8, 1947. Author and Publisher - Catholic Online Josephine Bakhita (c. 1869 - 8 February 1947) was a Sudanese-born former slave who became a Roman Catholic Canossian nun in Italy, living and working there for 45 years. navien error codes e351,