Friday, February 08, 2008

St. Josephine Bahkita

Today is the feast day of St. Josephine Bahkita, who was born in 1869 in the Sudan to a good family who was relatively wealthy. At the age of nine she was captured by slave traders, and suffered much in the coming years. Her fourth master took her to Italy where, while living with her fifth master, she decided to become a Christian. This patient, forgiving young woman was finally freed as she came of age, because slavery was illegal in Italy.

Josephine became a Canossian Sister, helping with the housework. The sisters asked her to do missionary work, telling her faith story from town to town. Although she was reluctant to attract attention to herself, she did this for a year "for God's glory". After that, she served cheerfully as doorkeeper and later as cook. She loved to pray before the crucifix or tabernacle.

In 1947 Josephine died of pneumonia and in 2002 she was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II. One of the things she loved to say was:

"Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!"
~ St. Josephine Bakhita

Hat tip to Jean at Catholic Fire who gives a more extensive biography at her site.


Micki said...

Thanks for this post M.M.
A wonderful saint. Don't youjust love her nun's habit? I woonder how difficult that must have been to wear all day?

Anonymous said...

She sounds very interesting...