St. Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of the victims of slavery and human trafficking, and Sudan.
As a child she was kidnapped to become a slave. She was so frightened by this experience that she could not even remember her name. So, her kidnappers named her Bakhita, which means ‘fortunate’. Check out her story
Feast Day: February 8
Canonized: October 1, 2000
Despite the suffering she experienced as a slave, she forgave those who had treated her so very badly, and wanted to share God’s love with all she met. When asked what she would do if she met her kidnappers, she replied,
“If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands. For, if these things had not happened, I would not have been a Christian and a religious today”.
The Two Suitcases:
This is an experience St. Bakhita shares, “I’m going slowly, slowly towards eternity. … I’m going with two suitcases: one contains my sins and the other, which is much heavier, contains the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. When I appear before the judgment seat of God, I will cover my ugly suitcase with the merits of Jesus and Our Lady and I will say to our eternal Father: “Now judge what you see.” Oh, I’m sure I won’t be sent away! Then I’ll turn toward St. Peter and I’ll say to him: “Close the door because I’m staying here.”
Take two sticky notes. On one make your child write what they know as their sins. On the other make the Cross. Show the above story in action.
St. Josephine Bakhita was a devotee of the Blessed Mother and the Rosary. Pray the Rosary on her feast day
When Bakhita was a child, she saw the Sun, Moon and stars and knew they must have a Creator. She longed to know Him. Encourage your child to appreciate the moon, stars, flowers, birds and say a prayer of thanksgiving to our Creator, just like St. Bakhita did. If you have flower/ star or bird shaped cookie cutters, use it to cut shapes on a slice of cheese/ bread/ pancake.
This FREE colouring sheet with St. Josephine’s quote is available on the FAITH BLOCKS website
After St. Bakhita received Baptism, she was often seen kissing the baptismal font and saying, “Here, I became a daughter of God!” Show your children photographs from when they were baptized and remind them of the beauty and grace of baptism.
Is there someone your child might need to forgive?
Make three flowers –Sunflower: which stands for St. Bakhita’s sunny and joyful nature
Hibiscus: which is the national flower of Sudan. (Check out the pictures.)
Lily: which shows St. Bakhita’s love for Mother Mary
Make them a ‘Forgiveness Bouquet.
Adopt a happy disposition like St. Josephine Bakhita’s:
Though slow of movement—perhaps on account of the torture she had suffered as a teenager—she did every job lovingly, with a contagious joy. To those who had more visible roles, she would say, “You go and teach. I will go to the chapel and pray that you may do it well.” She accepted whatever job was given to her and she did it joyfully. Ask your child to offer any one task they do not enjoy for child slaves.
Make a Sudanese-inspired dish:
Make liturgical living a regular practice with your family. If you are looking for a few ideas visit our page for more activities in February.
Thanks to contributions from Sweetha Mary Rejy.