February 8

Designated Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking

“How I wish that all of us would hear God’s cry: ‘Where is your brother?’ (Gen 4:9). Where is your brother or sister who is enslaved? Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labor? Let us not look the other way. There is greater complicity than we think. The issue involves everyone!”

Pope Francis

February 8th has been designated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General as an annual day of awareness raising and prayer and against human trafficking.

February 8th is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. She learned from Canossian nuns that she was created in the image of God and possessed human dignity. Once she asserted herself and refused to be enslaved, Josephine became a Canossian sister and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000.

USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services’ Anti-Trafficking Programs has created materials for the February 8 Day of Prayer. The toolkit is available by clicking here.

http://www.usccb.org/about/anti-trafficking-program/upload/Final-Trafficking-Toolkit-2017.pdf. http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/national-migration-week/upload/M7-266-Josephine-Bakhita-Prayer-Card.pdf

 

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