Prayers for Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, Patron of Trafficked and Enslaved people

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND MODERN SLAVERY DAY

A TIME TO PRAY AND REFLECT 

INTRODUCTION:  St Josephine Bakhita, born in Sudan, was captured as a slave at the age of nine years and was cruelly abused. She had 144 scars of wounds on her body. She was trafficked to Egypt, sold to the Italian Consul and eventually taken to Italy. There she later found freedom, was baptised and then professed as a Canonossian Nun in Venice. She died in 1947 and recently declared Patron Saint of all trafficked and enslaved people.

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 3: 7-12a – the Lord hears the cries of the slaves

The Lord said: ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I heard them crying for help on account of their taskmasters. Yes i am well aware of their sufferings. And I have come down to rescue them from the clutches of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that country, to a country rich and broad, to a country flowing with milk and honey. Yes indeed, their cry for help has reached me, and i have also seen the cruel way in which they are being oppressed. So I am now sending you to bring my people out of Egypt.

Moses said to God: “Who am I to go and bring your people out of Egypt?’ ‘I shall be with you’, God said.

Galatians 3:28 – we are all  one in Christ

There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female – for you are all one in Christ Jesus

V/   The Lord hears the cries of the slaves
R/   Lord that we may hear their cries also

V/ For the Lord there is no distinction between slave and free
R/ We are all one in Christ – they are our sisters and brothers

V/ Whom shall I send – who will go and set them free!
R/ Here I am Lord, send me!

HYMN:    ‘The Lord hears the cry of the Poor’

         The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

I will bless the Lord at all times
With praise ever in my mouth
Let my soul glory in the Lord
Who will hear the cry of the poor

        The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

Let the lowly hear and be glad:
the Lord listens to their pleas;
and to hearts broken God is near,
who will hear the cry of the poor.

       The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

Ev’ry spirit crushed God will save;
will be ransom for their lives;
will be safe shelter for their fears,
and will hear the cry of the poor.

       The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

We proclaim your greatness, O God
Your praise ever in our mouth
Every face brighten in Your light
For You hear the cry of the poor

        The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

INTERCESSIONS:

For Pope Francis and all Christian leaders across the world, that they may continue to call all people to unite against the scourge of modern slavery
V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For Christians everywhere, that the Holy Spirit may inspire us to to act with courage and wisdom to support and care for the survivors of modern slavery in our communities

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For those trafficked and trapped in slavery, that their perpetrators be brought to justice and their dignity as human beings respected and safeguarded

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For those in forced labour on land or at sea, in cities or countryside, that they be strengthened in body, heart and spirit, and raised up by those who can rescue and help them

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For the survivors of modern slavery, that they might find the support and care they need to start a new life: we pray in particular for the work of the Santa Marta Group, for the Clewer Project, for Unseen, and for the Salvation Army

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For legislators and law enforcement agencies around the world: may they strengthen and protect the rights of workers

                               V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREEE

Our Father…

Blessing:    May the Blessing of God be upon us and all exploited and
oppressed people this Day and always
                        In the Name of the Father + the Son and the Holy Spirit

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