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"If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference." Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S.
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General has designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun 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.
On February 8, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.
Visit our Become a SHEPHERD page to help you host an awareness raising event locally.
The Holy Father’s prayer intention for the month of February is “For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, enforced prostitution, and violence.”
Please join us in prayer by downloading the materials available on the Vatican Migrants & Refugees Section website of this initiative, including the prayer to Saint Josephine Bakhita which Pope Francis will lead at the Angelus on Sunday, February 10th, 2019.
The Pope's new video entitled Human Trafficking is available in multiple languages listed here, beginning on February 7th:
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