Marking St. Bakhita's Day

24th January 2023

February 8th is the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese nun who was kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child. After years of enslavement, she was eventually granted freedom and became a member of the Canossian Sisters in Italy.

The Clewer Initiative

Today she is known as the patron saint of victims of human trafficking and 8th February marks The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking when St Bakhita is remembered as a symbol of the Church’s commitment against the issue.

Saint Bakhita Day 1

The day provides an opportunity for churches and individuals to come together in solidarity and prayer for victims caught up in slavery across the world. It is facilitated by Talitha Kum, an international network of sisters which operates in five continents to take action against the issue and care for those affected.

This year, on the 9th anniversary of the international day, 20 young representatives of organisations partnering with Talitha Kum will be travelling to Rome for a week of networking and training against human trafficking. The Clewer Initiative is excited to be sending a representative to take part in the week of events.

The theme this year is ‘Journeying in Dignity’.

Set against the context of a continuous increase in both the exploitation of the most vulnerable and its driving factors including war, violence, economic crisis and climate change, journeying in dignity provides an opportunity to ‘journey with migrant populations, as pilgrims of human dignity, pilgrims of hope, together, young people, adults and children, people of different religious traditions, different cultures and generations’.*

We are invited to pause and reflect on the journey of those affected by modern slavery and human trafficking and to stand together in prayer as we hope for a world where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

On 8th February, Talitha Kum is hosting an online pilgrimage of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. Partner organisations across the world will participate on an online live stream to pray together and share in the work they have been doing to raise awareness and take action against the issue. You can find out more and watch the online pilgrimage here:

You can also join in by sharing posts on social media in support of the day with the hashtag #PrayAgainstTrafficking

We are excited to be joining with this important initiative and look forward to sharing updates on activities and events taking place throughout the week. Look out for updates on our social media and in future newsletter articles.


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