Today is the feast day of two important saints. In the Extraordinary Form, we celebrate the feast of John de Matha, who, along with St. Felix de Valois was co-founder of the Trinitarian Order. I have discussed this in an earlier post
In the New Rite, we have the optional memoria of St. Josephine Bakhita. Born in Darfur in Sudan in 1869, Bakhita was captured and sold into slavery as a young child. The name 'Bakhita' was not the one her parents gave her, but a cynical one, translating as 'Fortunate', bestowed on her by her kidnappers when, through trauma, she was unable to remember what she was called. She passed through the hands of numerous owners, suffering horrendous violence and abuse, including a practice invoving a combination of tattooing and scarification. Eventually she was sold to an Italian merchant, and encountered Catholicism for the first time in his household. She converted, and was ultimately freed when the family returned to Europe, as slavery was illegal under Italian Law. She entered a Canossian convent in Venice, and joined the order, where she lived until 1947, and was popular, especially among the young, with whom she would share the story of her life, but speak of her abusers with charity. She was canonised in 2000.
.Let us commend to her prayers all who have been trafficked or forced into slavery or slave-like conditions, and all those, especially the young, who are victims of abuse.
Ora pro nobis.