Born in the Sudan, in northeastern Africa, around 1870, Josephine Bakhita was stolen by slave trader at the age of nine. after being sold from owner to owner, she was brought to Italy and given to a certain Signora Michieli.
While serving as a nanny, Josephine was sent to live with the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. there she was baptized, and having reached majority age, was granted her freedom by Italian law.
In 1896, she joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity. She gave evidence of her holiness by the devotion with which she carried out her duties as cook, gate keeper, and keeper of linens. She also traveled throughout Italy to raise funds for the missions.
The Saint served as faithful Canossian for some fifty years. She died on February 6, 1947, and was revered by the people of her adopted land. She was beatified in 1992 by Pope John Paul II and canonized in 2000 by the same Pontiff, who has called her a “universal sister … [who can reveal to us the secret of true happiness.”
PRAYER: O God, You led St. Josephine from abject slavery to the dignity of being Your child and a spouse of Christ. Grant us, we beg You, after her example to follow the crucified Lord Jesus with constant love and obtain Your mercy by persevering in charity. Amen.