Her name is St Josephine Bakhita and her feast day was last week on the 8th February. Pope Francis has made her the patron saint of victims of slavery.
She is a fitting example because as a young girl she was kidnapped for slavery in both Sudan and later in Italy.
She was born in a West Sudanese region of Darfur, Sudan in 1869. Following her amazing delivery from slavery she became a nun and dedicated her life to sharing her story and to supporting the poor and suffering.
Since I saw the film Amazing Grace the story of human slavery has never ceased to affect and sadden me.
It is estimated that millions of women, girls, men and boys are trafficked annually into domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, pornography, forced marriage and forced labour.
We may be shocked that this is happening still, in our time. We may ask the question what can we do about it?
Much of this exploitation occurs because of society’s greed for cheap goods and services.
When we buy something that seems so cheap, it is because of forced labour.
Let us do what we can and part of this is awareness and action to eliminate slavery.
Fr Michael Morley
Sacred Heart Parish Tatura