January and February
God is Always Near
A Story of St. Josephine Bakhita
Life Dates: 1869-1947
Feast Day: February 8
Life was hard for Bakhita when she was a child. She had to work every day. Some people were very mean to her. She could never play or have friends.
Even though she was not free to go to school or to play, her soul was free to wonder. No one told her about God, but she wondered.
She felt the sun warming her shoulders and saw how it made the gardens grow. And so she wondered who had made the sun.
At night, Bakhita saw the pale moon and the twinkling stars looking down as if they could see her. “Who could have made these wonderful things?” she wondered. “I wish I could know who made them.”
When Bakhita was older, her life changed. She was able to go to a school! There, kind teachers told her about God. Yet, in a way, she already knew God was there, with her. Now she began talking to God through her prayers. Then she decided to get baptized. She chose a new name, Josephine, and added it to Bakhita.
Josephine Bakhita became a sister, or nun. She lived with other sister who taught children. The children loved her. The people in town loved her. The other sisters loved her, for Josephine was always gentle and smiling.
After a childhood of being mistreated, she now spent the whole rest of her life helping others know about God’s love. She did this with gentleness and wise words.
She said, “The Lord has loved me so much! Be good, love the Lord, and pray for those who don’t know him.”
For more information to celebrate St. Josephine Bakhita with prayer, feasting and artwork, see A Circle of Saints.