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2022 Assembly

 

8th February, Feast of Saint Bakhita who Was a Slave until Aged Twenty

 

A brief profile of the life of St. Josephine Bakhita, Witness of Hope

St. Josephine Bakhita
St. Josephine Bakhita

In 1869, Josephine Bakhita was born in Darfur, in the Sudan. In 1878, at the tender age of nine, she was kidnapped by slave traders and was so traumatised at being kidnapped from her family that she could not even recall her name, so the slave traders named her “Bakhita”, meaning the “fortunate one”.
Over the next seven years at the slave markets in Sudan, young Bakhita was sold and re-sold into slavery, enduring severe beatings and hardship until she was bought by an Italian merchant for the Italian Consul in Sudan in 1885. Two years later, Bakhita travelled with the Consul to Italy where she was formally introduced to the faith by the Canossian Religious Sisters, where she experienced healing from the deep traumas of abduction, slavery and war. With the sisters, Bakhita came to understand a totally different meaning to the word “master”. She learned that another kind of master or Lord existed, a master who is kind, understanding and loves unconditionally. This master is the Lord of all lords and is the living witness to God’s infinite love for each of us. For Bakhita, the most powerful message of all was the fact that she was known and loved and just like her, this master had himself been flogged and now He awaited her “at the Father’s right hand”. With such love and hope, Bakhita knew she was no longer a slave, she was a free child of God, stating “I am definitely loved and whatever happens to me-I am awaited by this love. And so my life is good”.
In 1896, Bakhita was professed and congregational records show that she was gentle in spirit and most loving towards her fellow sisters and students, whom she served faithfully for the remainder of her life until she died in 1947.
Despite being a slave who worked for different masters, her spirit was always free and through her growing faith, she found the grace to accept God as the ultimate Master. Her constant mantra was “Be good, love the Lord and pray for those who do not know Him”. Her humility, simplicity and constant smile won the hearts of all citizens as she travelled around Italy in order to share the liberation she had received through her encounter with the God of Jesus Christ. She made God known and loved through sharing about her life experiences, the challenges encountered, her dreams, hopes and fears. Through her example and witness of hope, Bakhita became a source of uplift and is a shining light for all who are oppressed and victimised by human slavery.
We can try and follow her example, to have a powerful faith, to serve God and to do His will in order that those who are suffering, may find solace and hope for the future.
Bakhita was beatified in 1992 and canonised in 2000. Her feast day is the 8th of February, which is now designated by the Church as the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.
To download full text click here: St. Bakhita_a brief profile of her life_ENG
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December 2015

 

“This year’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery comes as the international community is intensifying efforts to eradicate poverty and forge a post-2015 development agenda. In pursuing these goals, it is vital that we give special consideration to ending modern-day slavery and servitude which affects the poorest, most socially excluded groups  including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities and indigenous peoples.
There has been important progress in the last year. A number of countries have acted to combat slavery through stronger domestic legislation and greater coordination. More and more businesses are working to ensure their activities do not cause or contribute to contemporary forms of slavery in the workplace and their supply chains.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2 December 2013
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (-> resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).
The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, slavery at sea and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
These types of slavery are global problems and contravene Art. 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that ‘’…no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.’’
A number of awareness-raising activities are taking place worldwide, to mark the day.
For more information, please see:
https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/2013/international-day-for-the-abolition-of-slavery.html
http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16815&LangID=E
http://www.walkfree.org/
 
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

President of RENATE at the Trust Women Conference in London

 

Trust Women Conference, London, 18th - 19th November 2014
Trust Women Conference, London, 18th – 19th November 2014

Imelda Poole IBVM will be one of the key speakers at the Trust Women Conference in London, 18th-19th November 2014. Trust Women is more than just a conference. It’s a fast-growing movement to put the rule of law behind women’s rights through concrete action.
The annual conference brings together global corporations, lawyers, and pioneers in the field of women’s rights to take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women. Imelda Poole will be speaking simultaneously with three other panels in different venues all on the subject of human trafficking. Her group will be addressing the issue of „Slavery in the Supply Chain”. Each of the speakers is to present a proposed action for the attendees to support over the coming year. Imelda’s action is related to illegal employment agencies who hire people to be trafficked for slave labour around the world.
The other speakers on this panel are: Chris Burkett, Senior Associate, Baker and Makenzie; Tom Golding, VP Product and Proposition, Thomas Rheuter, GRC and Jayshree Satpute, Human Rights Lawyer and Co-founder, Nazdeek (India).
Find out more about the conference: http://www.trustwomenconf.com/
Find out more about the speakers: http://www.trustwomenconf.com/speakers/2014/
Brief Report on TRUST WOMEN Conference