St. Josephine Bakhita was born in the region of Sudan, Africa in 1869. As a little girl, this African flower, knew the anguish of slavery and kidnapping. She was stolen by slave traders and cruelly tortured. In this traumatic experience, the little girl, could not remember her name and was named Bakhita which means “the lucky one”.
After being sold and resold she was finally bought by an Italian Consul. For the first time now, Bakhita experienced being loved and cared for as a person. At her insistent request, she went with the Italian Consul to Italy. She was then given as a present to a couple that had a little daughter. Through them she came to know the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice. She asked to be baptized as a catholic. She then asked to offer herself totally to God as a Canossian sister.
Simple yet humble, she was full of love for God and neighbour. On 8th February 1947, she breathed her last at the age of 78, in Italy. She was declared a saint on 1st October 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Bakhita is revered as saint, because she is a “Universal Sister.