February  8. St Josephine Bakhita.  Mercia shared the story with her catechism class emphasizing how recently slavery still existed and what forms it takes in our time.  St Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869 into a comfortable family in Sudan, but was kidnapped at age 7 by Arab slave traders.  She was bought and sold a number of times by Muslim and Turkish owners and was frequently maltreated and abused. Eventually she came to an Italian family who were kind to her, took her to Italy and eventually freed her. She became a Catholic and finally a religious sister. She died in 1947, was canonized in 2000 and became patroness of those subjected to human trafficking.  Such modern slavery is a serious problem in many parts of the world.  She asked the young people, “Was it because she had suffered so much that she was blessed with a particularly strong love of God?”  Becoming an eco-friendly family:   Study the subject and forms of modern day slavery.

I will espouse you for ever.  I will espouse with righteousness and in justice; in steadfast love an din mercy.  I will espouse you in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord.  Hosea 2:19-20. Pope Francis:  Today, as in the past, slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person that allows him or her to be treated as an object. Whether by coercion or deception or by physical or psychological duress human persons created in the image and likeness of God are deprived of their freedom, sold and reduced to being the property of others.FT24