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St. Josephine Bakhita’s Hope
In his encyclical “Saved in Hope,” Pope Benedict tells the story of St. Josephine Bakhita. At nine, she was kidnapped and sold as a slave. From master to master she had a lot of suffering and sometimes was flogged every day. When she was thirteen, she was sold to the Italian consul in Sudan and moved to Italy. There she learned about a new “master,” one who, over any human master, loved her. “Now she had ‘hope’—no longer simply the modest hope of finding masters who would be less cruel, but the great hope: ‘I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.’” (Saved in Hope, 3).
Whenever one person or a whole people learns of God’s love, this experience opens a new understanding of life and our vocation to a communion of love with God.
“This discovery of love as a source of knowledge, which is part of the primordial experience of every man and woman, finds authoritative expression in the biblical understanding of faith. In savoring the love by which God chose them and made them a people, Israel came to understand the overall unity of the divine plan” (LF 28).
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