Home > Canossian Education > CANOSSIAN HERITAGE AND IDENTITY > UNIVERSAL SISTER- ST JOSEPHINE BAKHITA
UNIVERSAL SISTER- ST JOSEPHINE BAKHITA
Universal Sister - St. Josephine Bakhita
Saint Josephine Bakhita (canonized in 2000) was born in
Sudan in 1869. Bakhita, which in Arabic means “Lucky One”
is the name given to her by her kidnappers. Sold and
resold, she experienced the humiliation and suffering of
slavery. According to the fashion of the time and place,
she was tattooed with 114 elaborate designs incised with a
razor, then kept open by being rubbed with salt.
She was brought to Italy, ending this period of slavery,
and joined the Canossian sisters. Throughout her life, St.
Bakhita exhibited cheerfulness. She was known for her
gentle voice and smile. When speaking of her enslavement,
she often professed she would thank her kidnappers. For
had she not been kidnapped, she might never have come
to know Jesus Christ and enter His church.
She thanked God for the good that had come from her
suffering. “If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and
even those who tortured me,” she wrote, “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.”
Rather it was for the greater glory of God.