Saint Josephine Bakhita (1868-1947)
for February 8
In 1869, in a small village in the Sudan, in Africa, Bakhita (the “fortunate one” in a Sudanese language) was born. At the age of nine, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. During her teenage years, she experienced unspeakable brutalities. In 1883, she was sold to an Italian family living in Africa and became the caretaker for a young girl. Bakhita traveled with the child to a boarding school in Italy. The Catholic sisters at the school introduced her to the gospel. She knew in her heart that God wanted her to be free, but the owners wanted her, their “property,” to return to the Sudan. Bakhita prayed to the Lord for strength. She heard God’s call, and she knew he wanted her for the Church’s work and nothing else. She was going to stay in Italy, no matter what. Soon she discovered that slavery was illegal in Italy. This meant that she could not be forced to return to the Sudan. On January 9, 1890, she was baptized and took the name Josephine Bakhita. She then began to hear God’s voice calling her to dedicate her life to him more fully. She responded by joining a community of sisters, serving God, whom she called the Master. Her holiness was known all around her town. She died in 1947 and was canonized a saint in 2000. She was the first native Sudanese to become a saint. (Taken from "The Catholic Connections Handbook for Middleschoolers.")
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Saint Josephine Bakhita heard God's call, and knew that she had to find a way to live out her vocation. Spend a few minutes praying today to the Holy Spirit for guidance in discerning your vocational call. Through what vocation is God calling you to share Jesus with the world? (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)
Dearest Lord, please help me to be open to the vocation that you are calling me to. Please help me to always be ready to do your will, and to share your joy and Good News with those around me.