London, England, Feb 9, 2021 / 14:13 pm
An English cardinal this week reflected on the life of St. Josephine Bakhita— who endured brutal slavery before entering religious life— and urged prayers and recognition for the many people worldwide who are enslaved.
In particular, he said, the poverty and uncertainty wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have intensified the conditions in which slavery and human trafficking thrives.
“The organised criminal networks, which profit ruthlessly through the sale of our brothers and sisters as slaves and no more than commodities to be exploited, are taking full advantage of this chaos: over 40 million trapped today in modern slavery. It is pitiable: a terrible wound in the flesh of humanity, indeed in the body of Christ,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster preached at a Mass on Feb. 8, St. Bakhita’s feast day.
“Yet today we come to proclaim Jesus as our Saviour, the one who conquers evil and who restores a broken creation. The Gospel tells us this truth in vivid and unforgettable terms.”