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Kidnapped Me: <p>Black history month day 27: Catholic saint Josephine Bakhita.</p> <p>Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born around the year 1869 in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. She belonged to the prestigious Daju people and lived a prosperous and comfortable life until sometime between the age of seven and nine when she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders.</p> <p>Josephine was forced to walk barefoot about 600 miles to El Obeid and was already sold and bought twice before she arrived there. Over the course of twelve years she was resold again three more times and then given away. During this time she was forcibly converted to Islam. Due to the trauma of her childhood she forgot her given name and took another one, bakhita, Arabic for lucky. </p> <p>Josephine spent much of her time under cruel masters who beat and abused her. Eventually she was taken by new masters to Italy where she became the nanny of their children and was treated well. While on a trip, her masters left her in the care of the Canossian Sisters of Venice. But when they returned to get Josephine, she firmly refused to leave. When her masters tried to force the issue, the superior of the Catechumenate that she attended complained to the Italian authorities. On 29 November 1889 an Italian court ruled that because the British had induced Sudan to outlaw slavery before Josephine’s birth and because Italian law did not recognize slavery, she had never legally been a slave.</p> <p>Finally Josephine was free and was baptized into the Catholic Church, receiving communion from the future Pope Pius X. Josephine lived out her days as a dedicated Sister in Italy. When asked what she would do if she were to ever meet her captors again, she replied: β€œIf I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, 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”</p>
Kidnapped Me: <p>Black history month day 27: Catholic saint Josephine Bakhita.</p>

<p>Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born around the year 1869 in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. She belonged to the prestigious Daju people and lived a prosperous and comfortable life until sometime between the age of seven and nine when she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders.</p>

<p>Josephine was forced to walk barefoot about 600 miles to El Obeid and was already sold and bought twice before she arrived there. Over the course of twelve years she was resold again three more times and then given away. During this time she was forcibly converted to Islam. Due to the trauma of her childhood she forgot her given name and took another one, bakhita, Arabic for lucky. </p>

<p>Josephine spent much of her time under cruel masters who beat and abused her. Eventually she was taken by new masters to Italy where she became the nanny of their children and was treated well. While on a trip, her masters left her in the care of the Canossian Sisters of Venice. But when they returned to get Josephine, she firmly refused to leave. When her masters tried to force the issue, the superior of the Catechumenate that she attended complained to the Italian authorities. On 29 November 1889 an Italian court ruled that because the British had induced Sudan to outlaw slavery before Josephine’s birth and because Italian law did not recognize slavery, she had never legally been a slave.</p>

<p>Finally Josephine was free and was baptized into the Catholic Church, receiving communion from the future Pope Pius X. Josephine lived out her days as a dedicated Sister in Italy. When asked what she would do if she were to ever meet her captors again, she replied: β€œIf I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, 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”</p>

<p>Black history month day 27: Catholic saint Josephine Bakhita.</p> <p>Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born around the year 1869 in the...