February 8 will mark the third year that Catholics worldwide observe as ‘International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking.’
The initiative is promoted by the Pontifical Council of Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the The Unions of Superiors and Superiors General of Religious Institutes.
During the First International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, in 2015, Pope Francis noted that he encouraged “those who work helping the men, women and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of work or pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated.”
“It is my hope that government leaders may work decisively to remove the causes of this disgraceful scourge, it is a scourge unworthy of society,” the pontiff continued. “May each one of us feel committed to being a voice for our brothers and sisters, who have been humiliated in their dignity.”
February 8 coincides with the Feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave, freed, who became a Canossian nun, and was declared a Saint in 2000.
Also known as ‘Mother Moretta’ (our Black Mother), she bore 144 physical scars throughout her life, which she received after being kidnapped at the age of nine and sold into slavery.
For more information on the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, visit http://preghieracontrotratta.org