Bakhita, once a beloved child in her tribal village, came to be treated as an object, a slave whose only worth was in doing the bidding of those who purchased her. Her self-esteem and any sense of identity were completely lost in her most formative years.
When Bakhita came into contact with the Canossian Sisters in Venice, she learned of her true worth as a child of God. There she was tutored along with Minnina, the young girl whose nanny she had become. She learned of a Heavenly Father who cherished her and who asked for her love in return. She recognized those feelings she had held in her heart for so long as an experience of God. St. Josephine Bakhita understood the true beauty of these words of St. Paul: “As He says also in Hosea, ‘I will call those who were not my people, my people; and she who was not beloved, beloved.’” (Romans 9:25)
Have you ever felt unloved? Probably all of us have had the experience at one time or another, though perhaps not to the degree of our Saint. And yet we all have the same promise – the promise of a God who is not only loving, but Love itself. Our self-worth should never be dependent upon the opinion of others, but only on the value put on us by Jesus Christ, who died for us: our purchase price was His blood.
St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!