2014-02-08 10:12:53

St Bakhita: prayer and action to end slavery and trafficking

(Vatican Radio) Saturday February 8th marks the feast day of Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave girl who became a religious sister in Italy and was declared a saint in the year 2000. Her dramatic tale of kidnapping, forced conversion and torture at the hands of different owners at the end of the 19th century is a stark reminder of the atrocities that enslaved people still continue to suffer in many countries today. But hers is also a story of redemption, a powerful symbol of liberation and hope for all those suffering from the chains of physical or mental oppression.
In 2007 Pope Benedict told her story at the start of his encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi, and in recent years Church leaders in the UK have introduced on February 8th a day of prayer and reflection for all victims of slavery and trafficking …
“Not just on modern slavery, but a time for us all to reflect on what we owe the millions of people who lived and died when slavery was legal…..”
Ambassador Luis CdeBaca heads the U.S. State Department’s office to combat human trafficking, coordinating his government’s response to this growing, global phenomenon. He’s won many awards for his work at the Justice Department investigating and prosecuting traffickers, pimps and abusive employers. This past week, he’s been in Rome, meeting Italian and Vatican officials to learn more about the Church’s response to the scourge of human trafficking…

Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s interview with Ambassador Luis CdeBaca: RealAudioMP3

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