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St Josephine Bakhita

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PCA525 Package of 25 icon holy cards


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3 x 5

Item Details:

St. Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of victims and survivors of human trafficking and slavery, offers hope to victims and survivors that as children of God, victims are already free. Born in 1869, St. Josephine Bakhita was captured as a child by slave traders who sold and re-sold her. Eventually purchased by an Italian diplomat and taken to Italy, she learned about God through the Canossian Daughters of Charity. She found the grace of God to forgive her captors, providing an invaluable model for survivors of all forms of human trafficking and slavery: to be truly free, one must forgive.

Icon holy cards are 3" x 5", a convenient size for use as gifts or bookmarks. The backs are blank except for a faint colophon at the bottom, leaving plenty of room for custom imprinting with your own message.

Theology and Symbolism

St. Bakhita is depicted in a frontal pose from the waist up, with her hands held in the "orante" or prayer gesture common in icons of virgin saints—especially the Virgin Mary.  This icon varies from the model in that Bakhita wears the chains of slavery—but broken, both spiritually and literally. Spiritually, the chains were broken with her conversion to the Christian Faith, and literally by her choice to serve God as a nun, effecting independence from her "owner" family. 

She wears the original habit of the Canossian sisters, with its shades of black and brown. A highlight of blue reflects off Bakhita's garments, which, in iconographic language, indicates the presence of Divine Wisdom.  The use of gold indicates the presence of Divinity.  The use of green in the icon is a reference the saint's African homeland of Sudan, as well as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Finally, we see suspended around St. Bakhita's neck, an image of the Sorrowful Mother, which is the traditional Marian devotion of her order.

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