International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Each year, on February 8, the Catholic Church around the world marks the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. The theme for this year is “Journeying in Dignity,” through which the faithful are called to recognize the processes that lead to exploitation, discover the daily paths of those in search of freedom and dignity, promote anti-trafficking actions, and build a culture of encounter.

This year, the event coincides with the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped in her native Sudan at the age of seven, sold into slavery, and trafficked to Italy, where she was eventually freed and became a member of the Canossian Daughters of Charity. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

Leading up to February 8, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, stated, “The bishops of the United States join with the Universal Church in praying for those impacted by the sin of human trafficking, which our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has described as ‘an open wound in the body of Christ, in the body of all humanity.’ Let each of us, as witnesses to the Gospel of life, grow in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are exploited in this way and inspired by the life of Saint Josephine Bakhita, accompany them in the pursuit of justice.”

February 10, 2023 - 3:22pm

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