Day of prayer against human trafficking

This Sunday, February 8, is the first International Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking.

Like many North Americans (we can be a bit naïve and provincial), I would have thought human trafficking had gone the way of bubonic plague and crucifixion. Of course, having recently witnessed suicide bombings, beheadings and people being burned alive, I realize that the world isn’t quite civilized.

In some places, crucifixion is making a comeback. And then there is Ebola, more than a match for the plague.

Sadly, people are still bought and sold by the millions, many of them children. CRUX Vatican correspondent Ines San Martin provides a solid overview.

Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in America. William Wilberforce poured out his life to end slave-trading in England. But in many parts of the world, the right of a soul to belong only to God is denied.

Freedom can be elusive, so we all must join Pope Francis in prayer on Sunday, appropriately the feast of St Josephine Bakhita. This remarkable woman was kidnapped and enslaved in Africa, abused, beaten, tortured, sold. She came to live in Italy through an amazing turn of events, eventually becoming a holy Catholic nun who turned what could have been hatred into service of others.

EWTN will be showing a two-part production about her life starting this Saturday (February 7) at 8 p.m. Eastern, with the second half on February 14, same time, same station. It is well worth watching; have a hankie handy.

The Vatican has a biography of St Bakhita that nicely captures her spirit and why, to me, she is such a model of forgiveness, of overcoming hatred with love.

I don’t know that a day of prayer can do much to eliminate human trafficking. If what Lincoln and Wilberforce endured for their beliefs is any indication, we have a long, hard road ahead. But this Sunday will be an important first step that I’ll be taking on my knees.



About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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