Anti-trafficking – the Pope's intention for the month of February

8 February 2019

Today, 8 February, is the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita. Josephine was born in 1869 in Darfur, Sudan. She was kidnapped and sold into slavery. This resulted in torture, branding and beating. She was eventually sold to the Italian consul in Khartoum, who took her to Italy to work as a nanny for a friend and life improved for Josephine. She was eventually freed and chose to enter the convent of the Canossian Sisters. She said “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.”

Pope Francis has chosen Human Trafficking as the subject of his prayer of intention for this month of February. This intention is very dear to the heart of Cenacle Aotearoa. Cenacle Aotearoa is committed to the Anti-trafficking movement and has a particular desire to see such awful abuses exposed and stamped out. Slavery is everywhere, it is here in New Zealand.

Please join the Cenacle and Pope Francis in prayer for this cause for the month of February.

“Dear brothers and sisters, 
today, 8 February, is the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese nun, who as a child had the traumatic experience of being a victim of human trafficking. The Unions of Superiors and Superiors General of Religious Institutes have organized the Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. I encourage those who work helping the men, women and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of work or pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated. It is my hope that government leaders may work decisively to remove the causes of this disgraceful scourge, it is a scourge unworthy of society. May each one of us feel committed to being a voice for our brothers and sisters, who have been humiliated in their dignity. Let us all pray ...”

(Pope Francis: Angelus Prayer February 8, 2015)

2019 is also the 10th anniversary of the organisation Talitha Kum, an international network of Consecrated Life against trafficking in persons. Working as a network facilitates collaboration and the interchange of information between consecrated men and women in 76 countries. See their website here:

We’ve taken this below from their website, for this important day, to inspire you as it inspires us:

The International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking
Februray 8th 
Download the Vigil and organize a prayer with your Community or group

The Pope Video, February 2019 Human Trafficking


Saint Josephine Bakhita, you were sold into slavery as a child and endured unspeakable hardship
and suffering.

Once liberated from your physical enslavement, you found true redemption in your encounter with
Christ and his Church.

O Saint Josephine Bakhita, assist all those who are entrapped in slavery;

Intercede on their behalf with the God of Mercy so that the chains of their captivity will be broken.
May God himself free all those who have been threatened, wounded or mistreated by the trade
and trafficking of human beings.

Bring comfort to survivors of this slavery and teach them to look to Jesus as an example of hope
and faith so that they may find healing from their wounds.

We ask you to pray for us and to intercede on behalf of us all: that we may not fall into
indifference, that we may open our eyes and be able to see the misery and wounds of our many
brothers and sisters deprived of their dignity and their freedom, and may we hear their cry for help.


Sr. Gabriella Bottani, Talitha Kum Coordinator -
Nicoletta Lalla, Talitha Kum Assistant -