Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Josephine Bakhita, February 8,2018
At the age of nine, Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped from her home in Sudan, force-marched for eight days, and sold into slavery. “Bakhita” (Arabic: “fortunate one”) had five masters who treated her with great cruelty. One mistress “tattooed” Bakhita by repeatedly cutting her skin and rubbing salt into the wounds. Finally reaching Venice with a kindly Italian family, Bakhita was entrusted to the Canossian sisters. There she embraced the Faith, ultimately entering the order herself. She served in humble ways, and spent her last years in a wheelchair. “The whole of my life has been God’s gift, men, his instruments; thanks to them for providing me the gift of faith,” she declared. Bakhita died in 1947 A.D. and was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.