Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY SEVEN – 8 February

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY SEVEN– 8 February (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)

O Almighty God,
who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we humbly beseech You,
that as we contemplate the apparition of Our Lady in the Grotto of Lourdes,
we may be blessed with health of mind and body.
O most gracious Mother Mary, beloved Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer,
look with favour upon us as you did that day on Bernadette
and intercede with Him for us
that the favour we now so earnestly seek may be granted to us.
(make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength and consolation. Amen

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.


Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 8 February

Thought for the Day – 8 February

At her canonisation ceremony on October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II said of St. Josephine: “In today’s world, countless women continue to be victimized, even in developed modern societies.   In St. Josephine Bakhita we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation.    The history of her life inspires not passive acceptance but the firm resolve to work effectively to free girls and women from oppression and violence and to return them to their dignity in the full exercise of their rights.”

Bakhita knew the reality of being a slave, an immigrant and a spiritual seeker.    Even while she was outwardly denied freedom and human dignity, her spirit was free.    It was that freedom of spirit that allowed her to follow her heart and live her true vocation.   Her body was mutilated by those who enslaved her but they could not touch her spirit.    Her Baptism set her on an eventual path toward asserting her civic freedom and then service to God’s people as a Canossian Sister.  She who worked under many “masters” was finally happy to address God as “master” and carry out everything that she believed to be God’s will for her.

St Josephine Bakhita Pray for us and for the whole world!


Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quotes of the Day – 8 February

Quote/s of the Day – 8 February

“When a person loves another dearly,
he desires strongly to be close to the other:
therefore, why be afraid to die?”

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

“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.”

~~~ Saint Josephine Bakhita

“Rejoice, all of Africa!
Bakhita has come back to you:
the daughter of the Sudan,
sold into slavery as a living piece of merchandise
and yet still free:
free with the freedom of the saints.”

~~~ St Pope John Paul II


Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 February

One Minute Reflection – 8 February

If you had faith………you would be able to say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it would move.   Nothing would be impossible for you……Matthew 17:20

REFLECTION – “God does not work in those who refuse to place all their confidence and hope in Him alone.   But He imparts the fullness of His love upon those who possess a deep faith and hope.   For them He does great things.”……….St Jerome Emiliania (Memorial, today 8 February)

PRAYER – God of power and might, let me place all my trust in You.   Strengthen my faith and deepen my hope that You may be able to bring about the wonderful things You want to do for me.  St Jerome and St Josephine Bakhita, you both shone the light of faith and courage upon the world around you.  Prayer for us that we may too bring the light of Christ into our world. Amen.



Posted in SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Our Morning Offering – 8 February

Our Morning Offering – 8 February

O God, when we hear of children and adults
deceived and taken to unknown places
for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour
and organ ‘harvesting’,
our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry
that their dignity and rights are ignored
through threats, lies and force.
We cry out against the evil practice
of this modern slavery,
and pray with Saint Bakhita for it to end.
Give us wisdom and courage to reach out
and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits
have been so wounded, so that together we may
make real Your promises to fill these sisters and brothers
with a love that is tender and good.
Send the exploiters away empty-handed
to be converted from this wickedness,
and help us all to claim the freedom
that is Your gift to Your children, amen.




Posted in SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

The THIRD International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons – 8 February 2017

The International Day of Prayer against Trafficking instituted on 8 February 2015
Pope Frances has strongly denounced many times the trafficking of human beings, defining it as «a crime against humanity» and calling on all to fight and looking after the victims. Responding to the Holy Father’s plea the Pontifical Council of Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the International Union of Superiors General (UISG and USG) and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced an



The First International Day will be celebrated in all dioceses and parishes in the world, in the groups and schools.
8 FEBRUARY 2015, the Feast Day of Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave, freed, who became a Canossian nun, was declared a Saint in 2000.
The third International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons will be celebrated on February 8, 2017, with the theme:

“They are children! Not slaves!”
This event is celebrated on the Feast day of Saint Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Sudan and later became a Canossian Sister. In many places throughout the world this day is observed as a Day of Prayer and fasting for Victims of Trafficking and for those who work to combat it.

Pope Francis has stated “Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity.” “It’s a disgrace” that people are treated “as objects, deceived, raped, often sold many times for different purposes and, in the end, killed or, in any case, physically and mentally damaged, ending up thrown away and abandoned,” he said. (Source: Catholic news Services Dec 12, 2013)

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” said William Wilberforce, an English politician, philanthropist, theologian and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade who lived in the XVIII/XIX century.



Posted in SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Saint of the Day 8 February – St Josephine Bakhita and the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against trafficking in Persons

Saint of the Day 8 February – St Josephine Bakhita and the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against trafficking in Persons

St Josephine Bakhita F.D.C.C. (c1849-1947) RELIGIOUS – Patron of Sudan and World Day against Trafficking in Persons.  She was born in Sudan, was kidnapped and sold as a slave and became a Canossian Religious Sister in Italy, living and working there for 45 years.    In 2000 she was declared a Saint by St John Paul.

This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God’s grace, with the Daughters of Charity.   In Schio (Vicenza), where she spent many years of her life, everyone still calls her “our Black Mother”.    The process for the cause of Canonization began 12 years after her death and on December 1st, 1978 the Church proclaimed the Decree of the heroic practice of all virtues. Divine Providence which “cares for the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air”, guided the Sudanese slave through innumerable and unspeakable sufferings to human freedom and to the freedom of faith and finally to the consecration of her whole life to God for the coming of his Kingdom.

Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth.   The fright and the terrible experiences she went through made her forget the name she was given by her parents.    Bakhita, which means “fortunate”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers.   Sold and resold in the markets of El Obeid and of Khartoum, she experienced the humiliations and sufferings of slavery, both physical and moral.


Towards freedom

In the Capital of Sudan, Bakhita was bought by an Italian Consul, Callisto Legnani .   For the first time since the day she was kidnapped, she realized with pleasant surprise, that no one used the lash when giving her orders; instead, she was treated in a loving and cordial way.    In the Consul’s residence, Bakhita experienced peace, warmth and moments of joy, even though veiled by nostalgia for her own family, whom, perhaps, she had lost forever.  Political situations forced the Consul to leave for Italy. akhita asked and obtained permission to go with him and with a friend of his, a certain Mr. Augusto Michieli.

In Italy

On arrival in Genoa, Mr. Legnani, pressured by the request of Mr. Michieli’s wife, consented to leave Bakhita with them. he followed the new “family”, which settled in Zianigo (near Mirano Veneto). hen their daughter Mimmina was born, Bakhita became her babysitter and friend.   The acquisition and management of a big hotel in Suakin, on the Red Sea, forced Mrs. Michieli to move to Suakin to help her husband.M eanwhile, on the advice of their administrator, Illuminato Checchini, Mimmina and Bakhita were entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice.I t was there that Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “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…”

Daughter of God

After several months in the catechumenate, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian initiation and was given the new name, Josephine. It was January 9, 1890. She did not know how to express her joy that day. Her big and expressive eyes sparkled, revealing deep emotions. From then on, she was often seen kissing the baptismal font and saying: “Here, I became a daughter of God!”   With each new day, she became more aware of who this God was, whom she now knew and loved, who had led her to Him through mysterious ways, holding her by the hand.   When Mrs. Michieli returned from Africa to take back her daughter and Bakhita, the latter, with unusual firmness and courage, expressed her desire to remain with the Canossian Sisters and to serve that God who had shown her so many proofs of His love.   The young African, who by then had come of age, enjoyed the freedom of choice which the Italian law ensured.

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 «Mother Moretta» 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.


On 1 December 1978, Pope John Paul II declared Josephine Venerabilis, the first step towards canonistion. On 17 May 1992, she was declared Blessed and given February 8 as her feast day. On 1 October 2000, she was canonisd and became Saint Josephine Bakhita. Bakhita’s legacy is that transformation is possible through suffering. Her story of deliverance from physical slavery also symbolizes all those who find meaning and inspiration in her life for their own deliverance from spiritual slavery. In May 1992 news of her beatification was banned by Khartoum which Pope John Paul II then personally visited only nine months later. On 10 February 1993, he solemnly honoured Bakhita on her own soil. “Rejoice, all of Africa! Bakhita has come back to you. The daughter of Sudan sold into slavery as a living piece of merchandise and yet still free. Free with the freedom of the saints.” Pope Benedict XVI, on 30 November 2007, in the beginning of his second encyclical letter Spe Salvi (In Hope We Were Saved), relates her entire life story as an outstanding example of the Christian hope.

In 2015 Pope Francis upon instituting the International Day of Prayer Against Human Trafficking on the Memorial of St Bakhita under her Patronage.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Saints and World Days – 8 February

St Jerome Emiliani (Optional Memorial)

St Cointha of Alexandria
St St Cuthman
St Cyriacus of Rome
St Dionysus of Armenia
St Elfleda of Whitby
St Emilian of Armenia
Bl Esperanza de Jesus
St Giacuto
St Gisela
St Honoratus of Milan
St Invenzio of Pavia
St Isaias Boner
St Jacoba
Bl Josephina Gabriella Bonino
St Kigwe
St Lucius of Rome
St Meingold
St Mlada of Prague
St Nicetius of Besançon
St Oncho of Clonmore
St Paul of Rome
St Paul of Verdun
Bl Peter Igneus
St Sebastian of Armenia
St Stephen of Muret

Four Mercedarians
Martyrs of Constantinople
Martyrs of Persia