8 February: First International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking

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The Day will be held on 8 February, the feast day of Sudanese slave St. Josephine Bakhita who, after being freed, became a Canossian Sister and was canonised in 2000, and will be entitled: “A light against human trafficking”. The Day is promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace” and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). (Vis)

On the occasion of this first day of prayer and reflection, all dioceses, parishes, associations, families and individuals are invited to reflect and pray in order to cast light on this crime, as indicated by the theme of the initiative. In addition, prayer vigils will be held in different countries, culminating in the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square on 8 February.

On the day, the faithful are invited to recite the following prayer:
“O God, when we hear of children and adults
deceived and taken to unknown places for
purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour, and
organ ‘harvesting’, our hearts are saddened and
our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are
ignored through threats, lies, and force.
We cry out against the evil practice of this modern
slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end.
Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and
stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits
have been so wounded, so that together we may
make real your promises to fill these sisters and
brothers with a love that is tender and good.
Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be
converted from this wickedness, and help us all to
claim the freedom that is your gift to your
children. Amen”.

What can you do to fight human trafficking:

  1. Learn about trafficking.
  2. Educate your community.
  3. Become a Responsible Consumer.
  4. Volunteer.
  5. Advocate-Engage your elected officials.
  6. Report trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to Be Free (233733).
  7. Pray.

O God, when we hear of children and adults deceived and taken to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ 'harvesting' our hearts aresaddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force.  We cry out against the evil practice of this modern slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end.  Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits have been so wounded, so that together we may make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good.  Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be converted from this wickedness, and help us all to claim the freedom that is your gift to your children.  Amen

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