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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. 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.
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.
If you are in the Washington, DC area, please join us at St. Gabriel Church for a Interfaith Prayer Service on Monday, February 8th. Visit our Become a SHEPHERD page to help you host an awareness raising event locally. In the words of the committee chairman for migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S.: "If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference."
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