Request of Women Religious to Pope Francis
February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. The idea for this day came after Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, and a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting.
“On that day, we will lift our voices loudly in prayer, hope, and love for trafficking victims and survivors,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle. “If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference.”
Download a prayer sheet here.