Pope Francis has designated 8th February, the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, as the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking following a request from Talitha Kum, the worldwide Network of Consecrated Life Against Human Trafficking.
Josephine Bakhita 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.
Talitha Kum 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!
ACRATH has developed the following resources for Parishes and School communities and these are available on the ACRATH website: https://acrath.org.au/events/world-day-of-prayer-against-human-trafficking/
- A brief notice for parish or school bulletins
- A St Josephine Bakhita poster to display in your community
- Homily notes for Masses on the weekend of February 11 & 12
- Prayers of intercession for Masses on the weekend of February 11 & 12 or for inclusion at school assemblies