February 2020 - St. Josephine Bakhita

Photo: Tracy L. Christianson, portraitsofsaints.com Photo: Tracy L. Christianson, portraitsofsaints.com

St. Josephine Bakhita

c. 1868–1947

Feast: February 8

As a child, this first Sudanese saint was kidnapped by Arab slave traders. A Muslim owner named her Bakhita, meaning “lucky”; other owners included an Arab chieftain and a Turkish general. She endured years of cruelty, even torture, before being sold to an Italian consul who planned to free her. He took her to Italy, where she worked as a nanny for another family. In 1889 she won her freedom in court. She was baptized Josephine, entered the Canossian Sisters and served her order in Italy for more than 50 years as a cook, seamstress and doorkeeper.

-Catholic News Service

Read the Spanish version of this column.

Northwest Catholic - January/February 2020