February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000 and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General has designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking.
On February 8, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.
Many Salvatorians over the world (religious and lay) are working in this field in several units. If you don’t have information about the salvatorian work against Human trafficking and modern slavery get into contact with your unit leaders. They should know more or contact members of the International Salvatorian Committee for justice, peace and integrity of creation.
It’s necessary and important that all people get the awareness about this serious crime, to free this modern slaves and end modern slavery – because it’s unfortunately often more close to you as you expect. By the way, how many slaves work for you? – No one, no idea? Be sure, there are working some. How many, you can find out here at slaveryfootprint.org – it’s really shocking and you would not belive.
Have a look at the following short video examples, which may bring the problem closer to you:
The above three videos were courtesy by Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and were produced by the MIRROR project, coordinated by Accem.
Therefore the General committee of the ICDS invites all Lay Salvatorians to celebrate this day as a common day of prayer and reflection. As suggestion we have prepared a
PRAYER SHEET in English and Spanish.
In addition, the GC wants to invite and motivate the unit leadership teams to get in mutual contact over our ICDS forum (section JPIC) or by email to discuss possibilities of support, cooperation, and sharing materials.
Maybe this can be a starting point or reminder for more cooperation between some units. Stand up and get into contact with others so our efforts against modern slavery may be blessed and we become more connected.