Marists in Action

St Josephine Bakhita

This coming Monday, the 8th of February, marks the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, the Patron Saint of victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869, and after being kidnapped at the age of nine, spent twenty years enslaved in both Sudan and Italy, before being freed by an Italian court in 1889. She was baptised soon after this event, after discovering a strong connection to God whilst still a slave. St Josephine is regarded as a modern victim of enslavement due to the fact that slavery had been outlawed in Sudan prior to her capture in 1878, and thus was not legally permissable as part of an archaic tradition. 

The legacy of St Josephine and her patronage is still an important one in our modern day. In 2016, it was estimated that approximately 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery, 

This may seem far from the reality of us in Australia, but we are all closer to this issue than we believe. The Global Slavery Index suggested that in 2018 there were 15,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in our country, and many of us utilise products which benefit from the use of slave labour every day. The beauty, fast fashion and caffeine sectors are particular proponents of this, with many primary materials being sourced using child labour such as micah, cotton, cacao and coffee beans, often without the knowledge of the general population.

Marists in Action have placed posters around the school with some suggestions of how we can all, as Marist women of action, help to eradicate this issue. 

Caitlin Neal-Bartier, Year 11 Student



Ms Kathryn White, Assistant RE Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools – Charter #1, #2, #8