St Josephine Bakhita - February 8th

Nun. Also known as Madre Moretta. Born in the Sudan in 1869 to a wealthy family, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of nine and sold into slavery. Sold and re-sold, she was bought by Callisto Legnani, the Italian consul in Khartoum and taken to Italy to become the nanny of a friend's daughter. They were both looked after by the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice.

Josephine was baptised in 1890 and took vows in 1896. She worked as a cook, seamstress and porter. Her gentle presence, warm, amiable voice, and willingness to help with any menial task were a comfort to the poor and suffering people who came to the door of the Institute.

After a biography of her was published in 1930, she became a noted and sought after speaker, raising funds to support missions. She died in 1947 and was canonised in 2000.

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