Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Novena for the Conversion of President Barack Obama

Please begin this novena for the intention of invoking St. Josephine Bakhita's intercession for the complete conversion of President Obama and in particular that he be directed by the power of the Holy Spirit to call for an end to the evil of abortion that destroys the sacredness of life. Novena begins on January 30th or 31st. St. Bakhita's feastday is February 8th.
St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin

PRAYERO Holy Trinity,Father, Son and Holy Spirit,we thank you for the giftsof humility and charitywhich you bestowed onBlessed Josephine Bakhita.Deign to glorify herfor her singular virtuesand grant the prayersof those who invoke her,Amen

Loving God, rewarder of the humble, you blessed St. Josephine Bakhita with charity and patience. May her prayers help us, and her example inspire us to carry our cross and to love you always. Pour upon us the spirit of wisdom and love with which you filled St. Josephine Bakhita. By serving you as she did, may we please you by our faith and our actions. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. To obtain the favor of President Barack Hussein Obama's conversion through the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita, please also say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be and kindly remember to pray for our suffering Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan, her native land, who at this very moment are being persecuted, sold into slavery, and converted against their will to the Muslim religion.
More information on St. Bakhita below:

Bakhita was born in Eastern Sudan around 1869 and was captured by slave traders, who named her Bakhita, which means "lucky one".
Bakhita came from a happy, loving tribal family, which consisted of her parents, three brothers, and four sisters. In comparison to other African tribal families, her family was well to do, as her uncle was the village chief and her father owned cattle and large plantations. When Bakhita was about nine years old, slave traders captured her.
During the course of her life, she was sold five times before she received her freedom. She was subjected to many cruel tortures, some of which included whip lashing, which tore off her flesh, and being tattooed multiple times on her body via incisions with a razor and having salt rubbed into her womb. Despite the cruel treatments, she had no resentment or bitterness in her heart, but prayed for those who hurt her.
When Bakhita’s fourth owner, Callisto (Legnani), an agent of the Italian Consul in Sudan, was recalled to Italy, Bakhita insisted on accompanying him, and her master could not refuse her. On the ship bound for Italy, however, the Consul gave Bakhita to some fellow countrymen, Mr. and Mrs. Micheli, who needed a nanny for their child in Mirano Veneto, Italy.
It was in Italy at age 21 that the Canossian Sisters in Venice introduced Bakhita to the Catholic faith. Accompanying the five-year-old child she cared for to the Sister’s boarding school in Venice, Bakhita received religious instruction along with the child. When the child’s parents returned from Sudan to take them both back to Africa, Bakhita refused to go, but insisted that she remain in Italy to complete her religious instruction and to practice her faith. When Mrs. Michieli's pleas and threats toward Bakhita failed, she appealed to the King’s Procurator, who informed her that slavery was illegal in Italy. Bakhita was now a free woman – free to serve the One she loved. Approximately two months later, on January 9, 1890, Bakhita was baptized and confirmed and was given the names Josephine and Margaret and Bakhita. She also made her first Holy Communion on the same day.
Bakhita continued her studies at the school for four more years, then began her postulancy with the Canossian Sisters on December 3, 1893, in the same house where she had lived for five years. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1896, Sr. Josephine made her final vows at the Motherhouse in Verona, where the foundress, Magdalene of Canossa, had lived and died.
For six years, Bakhita remained in Venice, performing simple household tasks. Then, in 1902, she was transferred to Schio, a small town in the beautiful mountain area of northern Italy. Her first assignment there was as a cook. She sought to do her best, taking special care that the food she prepared was as pleasing as possible and she even heated the dishware in the winter to ensure warm meals for the boarding school girls and the Sisters.
In 1935, the Sisters asked Sr. Josephine to go on a speaking tour to tell her faith story as a form of missionary work. The shy and modest Sister reluctantly consented, as she disliked being the center of attention. She relayed her witness to captivated audiences for the next year and always did so "For God’s Glory." For the next two years, she served as the doorkeeper at the Sister’s missionary novitiate in Milan.
In 1938, Sr. Josephine’s health was beginning to decline, so she returned to Schio to perform household chores. She celebrated a joyous golden 50th anniversary as a religious on December 8, 1943 with nearly the whole town present, congratulating and thanking her for all her work.
As Bakhita’s life drew to a close, she began to spend more time with the Lord, gazing upon Him in the tabernacle or on the crucifix and praying. She spent much time in prayer for her fellow missionary Sisters."
At times, I have sleepless nights: then I feel bored and sad. But I do not pay any attention to it: I offer my suffering and I feel happy. I thank God for the many graces granted me, happy to have something to offer in return, as a token of my gratitude."
As she was nearing the end of her life on this earth, some of her Sisters, expressed their concerns and fears about God’s judgement to her, to which Bakhita replied, "When a person loves another, she wishes to be together [with him], so why be afraid? Death takes us to God."She added, "I am going slowly, slowly towards eternity…I carry two bags with me; one contains my sins, the other, much heavier, contains the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. When I appear before the tribunal of God, I will cover my ugly bag with the merits of Our Lady. Then, I shall open the other and will present to the eternal Father the merits of His Son Jesus. I will tell Him: "Now, judge from what you see."
Sister Josephine suffered from a violent attack of pneumonia in the winter of 1947 and her fever caused her to go through periods of delirium and unconsciousness. When she regained consciousness, someone asked her, "How are you Sr. Josephine? Today is Saturday." As she lay dying, she replied, "Yes, I am so happy: Our Lady, Our Lady!" These were her last words on February 8, 1947.
Pope John Paul II canonized St. Josephine Bakhita on October 1, 2000.
"Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!"~ St. Josephine Bakhita
Visit this website to learn more about the life of St. Josephine: Bakhita: African Flower . It contains a poem commissioned by the Canossian Daughters of Charity and a pictoral biography.
Bakhita: African Flower (1869-1947)
Bakhita (Arabic for "fortunate one") was only a young child in the Sudan when she was kidnapped, imprisoned, and sold into slavery. The winds of change blew her first into freedom, and then into religious communal life with the Canossian Daughters of Charity in northern Italy. Despite the horrific cruelty and torture to which she had been subjected, Bakhita never condemned those who treated her badly. She continually praised the circumstances of her life which led her to her religious vocation. Serving as a missionary, she often closed her talks with the following words:
"Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know him. What a great grace it is to know God!"
Bakhita was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 17 May 1992. Eight years later she was canonised on 1 October 2000, at the Basilica of San Pietro in Rome, a Saint of the Jubilee Year. Her memorial is celebrated annually on 8 February.
From the blog:
view photo album one page at a time at
Lead Us to Christ Jesus
Based on the story and words of Mother Josephine Bakhita.Commissioned by the Canossian Daughters of Charity, F.d.C.C.on the occasion of the canonisation of Bakhita, 1 October 2000.© 2000 Jane Ellen (ASCAP). All rights reserved.
African Flower, gentle one,stolen away from fam'ly and home;sold into slav'ry and despair,given the name of Fortunate One.Seeing the sun, the moon and stars,seeking the Master of nature there.Yearning to know, to touch and see,wishing the Master's praises to sing.
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia!O Saint Bakhita, lead us to Christ Jesus!Alleluia, alleluia!
No longer slave of man but free,desiring to be a slave of Christ,loving with pure humility,making her life a sweet sacrifice.Forgiving all who caused her pain,knowing the myst'ry of the Lord's plan.Seeing that all things work for good,placing her faith in God's mighty Hand.
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia!O Saint Bakhita, lead us to Christ Jesus!Alleluia, alleluia!
Daughter of God and friend to all,longing to fly home to those in need,wanting to spread her Saviour's love,joy and compassion, and perfect peace.O Saint Bakhita, hear our prayer:teach us to spread our Lord's sacred Word,praying for those who know Him not,help us to "be good and love the Lord."
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia!O Saint Bakhita, lead us to Christ Jesus!Alleluia, alleluia!
The Shrine of St. Bakhita in New York City and the address of the NATIONAL BLACKCATHOLIC APOSTOLATE FOR LIFE (witnessing the Gospel of Love and the Gospel of Life in our Community) is located at St. Clare Friary, 440 West 36th Street New York, N.Y. 10018-6326 Phone: 212.868.1847, Email:
Vision Video carries the docu-drama Two Suitcases which offers some interesting tidbits and glimpses into the places in Italy where St. Bakhita lived. It will play on EWTN on Feb. 1 and Feb. 5 in 2009. (dubbed English from Italian original)

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