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From African Slave to SAINT

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More about St. Josephine Bakhita
Her Death and Miracles
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More on St. Bakhita

The cuttings, mutilations, the tattooing and the beatings were only a few of the sufferings the child slave Bakhita endured. Bakhita herself said that she really revealed less, rather than more of the sufferings she had to endure as a slave, and that much of what she had suffered was known only to God. However, when delicately questioned as to whether her virginity had been violated, Bakhita replied: "I was sunk in the mud, but, thank God, I was never sullied. Through the Mercy of God I was preserved. Our Lady protected me, even before I could know her." Looking at the picture of Bakhita on her day of Profession, and seeing how beautiful she was, it truly could be said that it WAS almost miraculous that she had escaped such a violation.

Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage.

I have given everything to my Master: He will take care of me The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us!

I received the Sacrament of Baptism with such joy that only angels could describe

O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your Goodness at the top of my voice: oh, how many souls would be won!

If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today

The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone we must be compassionate!

I can truly say that it was a miracle I did not die, because the Lord has destined me for greater things

Mary protected me even before I knew her!

When a person loves another dearly, he desires strongly to be close to the other: therefore, why be afraid to die? Death brings us to God!

-assorted quotes by Saint Josephine Bakhita

Daughter of St. Magdalene

Bakhita remained in the catechumenate where she experienced the call to be a religious, and to give herself to the Lord in the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

On December 8, 1896 Josephine Bakhita was consecrated forever to God whom she called with the sweet expression the Master!

For another 50 years, this humble Daughter of Charity, a true witness of the love of God, lived in the community in Schio, engaged in various services: cooking, sewing, embroidery and attending to the door.

When she was on duty at the door, she would gently lay her hands on the heads of the children who daily attended the Canossian schools and caress them. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection and rhythm of the music of her country, was pleasing to the little ones, comforting to the poor and suffering and encouraging for those who knocked at the door of the Institute.

Witness of love

Her humility, her simplicity and her constant smile won the hearts of all the citizens. Her sisters in the community esteemed her for her inalterable sweet nature, her exquisite goodness and her deep desire to make the Lord known.

Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!

As she grew older she experienced long, painful years of sickness. Mother Bakhita continued to witness to faith, goodness and Christian hope. To those who visited her and asked how she was, she would respond with a smile: As the Master desires.

Final test

During her agony, she re-lived the terrible days of her slavery and more then once she begged the nurse who assisted her: Please, loosen the chains... they are heavy!

It was Mary Most Holy who freed her from all pain. Her last words were: Our Lady! Our Lady!, and her final smile testifiedto her encounter with the Mother of the Lord.

Mother Bakhita breathed her last on February 8, 1947 at the Canossian Convent, Schio, surrounded by the Sisters. A crowd quickly gathered at the Convent to have a last look at their ĞMother Morettağ and to ask for her protection from heaven. The fame of her sanctity has spread to all the continents and many are those who receive graces through her intercession.

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