Saint Josephine Bakhita’s feast day is coming up on February 8th. When I first read about Saint Josephine, I was so inspired by her story of going through such horrendous hardships but still had a joyful willingness to forgive, I knew that I needed to write a post about her.
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Saint Josephine Bakhita
Saint Josephine was kidnapped as a young girl in Sudan who spent so much time in captivity that she forgot her original name. She suffered horrible cruelty as a slave by most of her owners. One of her owners cut her 114 times and poured salt in her wounds to make sure that the scars were permanent! Josephine was left with the Canossian Sisters in Venice while her last mistress was in Sudan. It was while with the Canossian Sisters, she learned about Jesus for the first time and declared to follow Christ. It was also discovered that slavery was outlawed before she was kidnapped in Sudan, therefore, making her illegally a slave. Then the Canossian Sisters helped Josephine get her freedom.
After becoming a free person, Josephine received the sacrament of baptism, first Holy Communion, and confirmation on January 9, 1890. She took the name Josephine Margaret and Fortunata (the Latin translation for her Arabic name, Bakhita). The Archbishop who gave her the sacraments was Giusseppe Sarto, the Cardinal Patriarch of Venice, who later became Pope Pius X.
Josephine chose to remain with the Canossian Sisters and became a novice on December 7, 1893. Josephine took her final vows with the Canossian Daughters of Charity religious order on December 8, 1896. She was later assigned to a convent in Schio, Vicenza. She often referred to lovingly as the “little brown sister” or honorably as the “black mother.” Once she was asked what she would say to her past captors, she replied, “If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands. For, if these things had not happened, I would not have been a Christian and a religious today”.
In her older age, she began to suffer physical pain and was bound to using a wheelchair. Despite her health condition, she always remained cheerful. Upon her death on February 8, 1947, Josephine’s final words were, “Our Lady, Our Lady!”
Pope John XXIII declared Josephine venerable on December 1st, 1978. She was beatified in 1992 by Pope John Paul II and later canonized on October 1, 2000.
I received the Sacrament of Baptism with such joy that only angels could describe…
-Saint Josephine Bakhita
Saint Josephine Bakhita joyfully served her community by cooking, sewing, embroidery, and welcoming visitors at the door. Take some time to teach the kids to some of these activities.
Little children practice mixing, cracking eggs, peeling vegetables, and/or pouring ingredients. Older children can learn to make eggs, sandwiches, or homemade pizza bagels (my kids favorite). Also, teach kids about how to follow a recipe!
Teach your kids some sewing and/or embroidery skills. My kids love embroidery! There are a ton of free videos on Youtube that teaches you all the basics and it’s a skill that is great to have.
- Embroidery videos: 10 Basic Stitches, Trendy Embroidery Patches, Teach Kids to Stitch their Doodles
- Some simple sewing videos: East Drawstring Bag, Teaching Kids to Sew, Easy Fabric Purse + Tips
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: You can get THIS kit from Amazon that comes with everything you need to get started.
Teach your children the virtue of hospitality. Show your kids how it’s polite to greet people by looking them in the face and with happy smiles. You can make it fun by role-playing. Have someone pretend to be a guest and someone be the host. My kids love it when we act out how not to act.
RELATED RESOURCE: Check out Blessed Beyond a Doubt’s Teaching Kids Hospitality
- Saint Bakhita of Sudan — Forever Free by Sr. Susan Helen Wallace
Bakhita: From Slave to Saint by Roberto Italo Zanini (For older children and Adults)
- My Catholic Family – St. Josephine Bakhita
- Bakhita: From Slave to Saint (For older children and Adults)
- Two Suitcases: The Story of Saint Josephine Bakhita (For older children and Adults)
Cook some foods inspired by Saint Josephine Bakhita. Look up some Sudanese dishes or check out Catholic Cuisine. They have a couple of delicious-looking recipes perfect for St. Josephine’s feast day!
An easy snack idea is oranges for sun, apple moon-shaped slices, and stars cutouts from cheese as a fun reference on this quote…
“Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, the beauties of nature, I asked myself, ‘Who is the owner of all these beautiful things?’ and I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage.” – St. Josephine Bakhita
Coloring pages are always a quick easy activity for kids. Here are three places to find free Saint Josephine Bakhita coloring pages.
Or you can just paint/ draw your own pictures!
Get This Printable Here!!
Saint Josephine Bakhita Necklace
Saint Josephine, along with each Canossian Sister, wore a double-sided necklace. On the front side was an image of Our Lady of Sorrows and on the backside depicts the instruments of Jesus’ suffering, which was drawn by the foundress, St Magdalene of Canossa. These pictures were framed in gold and/or brass frame with glass and hung from a black, silk woven cord. The Sisters also would put their own private messages to Jesus between the two pictures!
Make necklaces like the kind that Saint Josephine wore!
RELATED POST: Check out my Saint Josephine Necklace tutorial with free printable
Do you plan on celebrating Saint Josephine Bakhita? Comment below with your plans! I would love to hear all about it. DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS POST