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St. Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped as a young girl in Sudan and sold as a slave. She suffered bullying and hardship under different masters. One took her to Italy where she met the Canossian Sisters. She learned about Jesus and became a nun later. She led a holy life of humility, service and charity, inspiring everyone especially her African people. She also forgave her captors and those who caused her much suffering. She is the patron saint of Sudan. Her feast day is on 8 February.

“If I remember well it was 1985,” Cardinal Bergoglio wrote. “One evening I went to recite the Holy Rosary that was being led by the Holy Father. He was in front of everybody, on his knees. The group was numerous; I saw the Holy Father from the back and, little by little, I got lost in prayer. I was not alone: I was praying in the middle of the people of God to which I and all those there belonged, led by our Pastor. His witness struck me.” Pope Francis on JP II