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Josephine Bakhita
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Josephine Bakhita


Josephine Bakhita (1869 – 1947)

Human Trafficking Survivor
Convert
Religious
Saint


"Those holy mothers instructed me with heroic patience and introduced me to that God who from childhood I had felt in my heart without knowing who He was."


Josephine Bakhita was born around 1869 in Darfur in Western Sudan into a prosperous Daju family. It is not known what her birth name really was as it was lost to her in the horror and trauma that became her life at the age of seven.

The girl was kidnapped by slave traders who had already seized her older sisters, and walked a forced march of nearly 600 miles to El-Obeid and was even bought and sold several times before even arriving. This began a nightmarish existence of slavery endured by the young girl now named “Bakhita”, meaning “the lucky one” or “the fortunate one” by her slaver. She was forced to accept Islam as her faith.

During this time of captivity, Bakhita endured a systematic abuse that included ritualistic torture that included beatings, humiliations and even cutting with razors. With no family, no rights and regularly and horrendously abused, Bakhita’s only refuge was a God who she did not know.

By the 1880s, all the places in her Sudanese orbit, El-Obeid, Darfur and Khartoum where she was bought by the Italian Vice Consul, were flashpoints in the Mahdist war against the Anglo-Egyptian Army. Nominally backed by the British, the Anglo-Egyptian army under the leadership of the legendary General Charles Gordon, were attempting to fight an Islamic uprising under the direction of the desert mystic and self-proclaimed messiah, or “Mahdi”, Mohammed Achmed. Just before Khartoum, and Gordon, fell before the vastly superior number of the Mahdist army in 1885, Bakhita and the Italian Consul fled to the coast and then to Genoa where ownership of the young woman passed from the Consul to his friends the Michieli family.

With the Michieli family Bakhita found acceptance, love and respect and even honorable work as the nanny of their small daughter. When the Michielis decided to return to Sudan for business they left Bakhita in the care of the Canossian Sisters in Venice and for the first time the young woman experienced not only community and faith but the presence of God in others as well as her own soul. When the Michielis attempted to bring Bakhita with them back to Sudan, the young woman refused and the case ended up in the Italian courts with a ruling in her favor. Free for the first time in decades, the young woman immediately chose to return to the Canossian sisters and in January, 1890 she was baptized with the name Josephine Margaret and received confirmation and holy communion from the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto. It was the crossing of paths of two future saints as Cardinal Sarto was the future Pope- and later Saint- Pius X.

In 1893 Josephine entered the Canossian novitiate and in 1896 took her first vows as a religious. The northern provinces of Italy became her home for the fifty years still remaining in her life. Although she was professed to stability in the convent in Schio, in province of Vicenza, Josephine traveled to the orders houses throughout Italy with an emphasis on preparing sisters for missionary work in Africa.

Josephine remained in the convent in Schio throughout World War II and was known for her gentleness, warmth and cheer that radiated through her gentle eyes and broad smile. Unless she spoke of the brutality and horrors she endured as a child and young woman, Josephine was always a model of serenity, recollection and love for her sisters, the townspeople and all she came in contact with.

In her last years, Josephine was confined to a wheelchair where she continued to manifest peace and joy and when she died on February 8, 1947 she did so calling upon the name of the Virgin Mary. Sr. Josephine was laid in repose for three days so thousands could file by and pay their last respects. Josephine Bakhita was beatified in 1992 and canonized in October, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. St. Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of Sudan and victims and survivors of human trafficking.

The Josephine Bakhita tile was created in 2020. Our 12" X 12" signed and numbered reproduction is created on stretch canvas and is suitable for matting and framing. 

Josephine Bakhita
Josephine Bakhita - $ 150.00 USD

Signed reproduction on 12" x 12" stretched canvas.

Guarantee

Your complete satisfaction is our goal. If any item does not meet your expectations, send it back to us within 90 days for an exchange or a full refund of the purchase price.

Shipping and Handling

Shipping and handling cost is $10.95 per icon shipped.