Friday, February 10, 2006
Saint Josephine Bakhita- The Pearl of The Sudan
Bakhita was born in Olgossa, Sudan Africa in 1869. When she was very young she was kidnapped and became a slave. Several people owned Bakhita. As a slave, Bakhita suffered terribly! Under one master, she was given 114 tattoos ! This was so extremely painful that she lay in the dark on the ground for weeks before she was able to move.
She was bought by the Italian consul and taken to Italy. Although she had never been taught about God, she had often wondered who had created the world and everyone and everything in it. When she was in Venice, she got to know the Canossian Sisters and desired to be baptized. She fell in love with Jesus and became a Canossian Sister herself!
Sister Bakhita served others as a cook, she cared for the chapel, and she answered the door. Although she had suffered so much at the hands of other people for so long, Bakhita’s love for Jesus made her strong enough to still believe in the goodness of others. Those who knew her marveled at how much love she showed to everyone she met. Her cheerfulness was contagious.
She suffered a long illness and offered up all her suffering for those who had hurt her. Bakhita died on February 8, 1947 calling out to our Blessed Mother as she took her last breath. She was proclaimed a Saint October 1, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
Bakhita lived up to the challenge to show Jesus’ love to everyone she met, despite all of the very difficult things she lived through. When things are hard for us, we are challenged to show the same kind of love.
Dear Jesus, Saint Bakhita often said, "I am doing all that God wishes of me…." Help me to show others the kind of love that God wishes of me.