February 8thwas the feast of St Josephine Bakhita. The Sudanese slave who found Jesus and in him peace. The CTS biography is currently out of print, but we can now offer it to you as a download.
Written by Jean Maynard, the booklet tells of the woman they called “Black mother” and how she forgave those who maltreated her. Here are some extracts. Or download the whole CTS biography of Josephine Bakhita.
“My family lived in the middle of Africa …” Black Mother knew precisely where she was born: a village called Al-Qoz in Darfur. Its name meant “Sandy Hill”, and it stood at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in an area of rolling countryside known as Daju, almost exactly halfway between the continent’s eastern coastline on the Red Sea and its western coastline on the Atlantic. She couldn’t give the date of her birth, but it was guessed to be 1869.”
“When I had recovered from the thrashing, I was put to other work. But my destiny was marked: I was to leave that house at the earliest opportunity. The opportunity came three months later, and I was sold to a new master, a General in the Turkish army. He had his old mother and his wife living with him. Both of them were dreadfully cruel towards the poor slaves, who were kept constantly hard at work in the kitchen, laundry and fields. I and another young girl were put at the service of the two ladies. We couldn’t leave them even for a moment: what with dressing them, fanning them and perfuming them, we never got a break.
Bakhita was baptised in the Church of St John the Baptist on 9th January 1890. Illuminato Cecchini and his family were the first to arrive, and little Giulia was there with her mother and aunt. Besides this handful of personal contacts, the flower of the old Venetian nobility turned out for the occasion. At the request of his devout but bedridden wife, Countess Giuseppina, and perhaps also of his relative Fr Jacopo, Count Marco Avogrado di Soranzo stood godfather, and Lady Margherita Donati was godmother. Three baptismal names were conferred – Giuseppina Margherita Fortunata: Giuseppina (Josephine) for the Countess; Margherita (Margaret) for her godmother; and Fortunata as the Latin translation of Bakhita’s Arabic name.
Click here for the rest of the text.
The booklet is in PDF format and you may need Adobe Reader to view it. Download it here.
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