Pope Francis on February 10, 2019, asked for the intercession of Saint Josephine Bakhita, the beloved saint who suffered horrible abuse but was redeemed through Christ and His Church.
The Holy Father’s comments came February 10, 2019, after praying the noonday Angelus with the crowds in St. Peter’s Square – just two days after the World Day against Trafficking in Persons was held with the motto “Together Against Trafficking”.
“Don’t forget this,” the Pope implored the faithful. “It invites you to join forces to overcome this challenge.
“I thank all those that combat on this front, in particular, so many women religious. I appeal especially to governments so that the causes of this sore are addressed with determination and the victims are protected. However, all of us can and must denounce the cases of exploitation and slavery of men, women, and children. Prayer is the force that supports our common commitment.”
The Holy Father then joined the crowds in the prayer to St. Josephine:
“As a child, Saint Josephine Bakhita was sold as a slave and had to face unspeakable difficulties and sufferings. Once freed from her physical slavery, she found true redemption in her encounter with Christ and His Church.
“Saint Josephine Bakhita, help all those that are trapped in slavery. Intercede before the God of mercy in their name, so that the chains of their prison can be broken.
“May God Himself free all those that have been menaced, wounded or mistreated by the trafficking and traffic of human beings. Bring relief to those that have survived this slavery and teach them to see Jesus as a model of faith and hope, so that their wounds can be healed.
“We entreat you to pray and intercede for all of us so that we don’t fall into indifference so that we open our eyes and can look at the miseries and wounds of so many brothers and sisters deprived of their dignity and of their freedom and hear to their cry for help. Amen.”