Friday, February 8, 2019

Saint Josephine Bakhita

Stolen from her family and sold into slavery when she was only about nine years old, Josephine Bakhita suffered at the hands of cruel masters and mistresses. She was tattooed with the cuts of razor blades, severely lashed and one of her legs was so battered by brutal kicking that she limped for years thereafter. Children are great survivors, and Bakhita learned early on how to live as if death did not have the last word. She always lived in hope.

And finally years later when she learns about Jesus, she is magnetized, and she seeks baptism with a tenacity and conviction that astound us. She is transfixed as she gazes at the crucified Christ. He is the key to her self-understanding. Jesus, an innocent victim like her, gives her survival new meaning. She is drawn into the reality of his death-defying death. And so she calls Jesus Padrone– literally her “Big Daddy,” her Master; at last a Master she can serve with joy and freedom, one who will never, ever hurt or do any violence to her.