8th. February – Memorial of St. Bakhita
The IDPHT was first celebrated on the 8th. February 2015 at the desire of Pope Francis, who in 2014, requested the International Union of Superiors and of Superiors General (UISG / USG) to promote this day. The Secretary of State, responding to requests made by religious, who had been working for years to combat trafficking, gave approval to organizations that for years have celebrated Anti-Trafficking Day on this date.
SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA
Born c. 1869 in Olgossa, Darfur, Sudan. Died 8 February 1947, Italy. Year of beatification 1992 (17 May). Year of canonization 2000 (1 October). Feast Day 8 February.
“Dear brothers and sisters, today, 8 February, is the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese nun, who as a child had the traumatic experience of being a victim of human trafficking. The Unions of Superiors and Superiors General of Religious Institutes have organized the Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. I encourage those who work helping the men, women and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of work or pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated. It is my hope that government leaders may work decisively to remove the causes of this disgraceful scourge, it is a scourge unworthy of society. May each one of us feel committed to being a voice for our brothers and sisters, who have been humiliated in their dignity. Let us all pray…”(Pope Francis: Angelus Prayer February 8, 2015)