This month we look at St. Josephine Bakhita, whose life story could melt even the most hardened heart: as a small child she was kidnapped by slave traders, never to see her family again. She underwent much suffering and bore the physical and emotional scars all of her life. Hers is a tale of true grace, for although she didn't have any knowledge of God as a young girl, she sensed His existence from deep within: "Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage..."
Raised as a slave, she then came to know Jesus Christ, the true Liberator and Master of her life, through the instruction of the Canossian Daughters of Charity. She had lost her family at such a young age, but found a home with the Sisters, and served her new Master with much love and devotion.
As we consider little Bakhita's life this coming month, may it make us aware of how much beauty can come from trust in God in the midst of pain and heartache. Her name, translated as "Fortunate One", reminds us that God can bring good out of any evil. Let's pray that her life may be a witness of God's mercy to us all.
"Never be it said that you fell asleep over your task of growth in holiness, you, who have had all these examples of devotion constantly before your eyes." Thomas à Kempis
St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!