VIRTUE: An habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The moral virtues are acquired through human effort aided by God’s grace; the theological virtues are gifts of God. (ccc1803)
St. Josephine Bakhita was a virtuous woman. Throughout her entire life she strove to "do the good", even before she knew God. God, of course, knew her - as the Catechism tells us, His grace was at work in her, and Scripture reminds us: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you." (Jeremiah 1:5)
God works His beauty in souls open to His grace, and tender Bakhita was a willing vessel. The book of Wisdom gives us King Solomon's insight:
Or if one loves justice, the fruits of (Wisdom's) works are virtues;
for she teaches moderation and prudence, justice and fortitude,
and nothing in life is more useful for men than these. (Wisdom 8:7)
Certainly virtuous people are needed in the world today - truly nothing is more useful - so these words give us plenty to meditate on. May each of us receive the grace from God to live and love virtue, as Josephine Bakhita did.
St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!