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Rome, Italy, Feb 8, 2017 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As human trafficking continues to be a supremely important issue during Pope Francis’ pontificate, with an estimated 20 million victims worldwide, St. Josephine Bakhita, enslaved during her own childhood, has emerged as a patron not only for her home country of Sudan, but for all victims of trafficking.St. Josephine was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the age of 7, undergoing immense suffering throughout her adolescence before discovering the faith in her early 20s. She was baptized, and after being freed entered the Canossian Sisters in Italy.Feb. 8, St. Josephine’s feast day, marks the third international day of prayer and reflection against human trafficking. This year the day focuses on the plight of children, with the theme: “We are children! Not slaves!”The first year, celebrated in more than 154 countries, was strongly supported by Pope Francis.If Pope Francis visits the African countries of Sout...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis appealed to government leaders to be strong in the fight against the scourge of human trafficking.Marking Wednesday’s ‘International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking’ marked annually on 8 February, and focusing this year on the trafficking of children and adolescents,  the Pope had words of encouragement for all those who in different ways, help minors who have been enslaved and abused to be freed from this terrible oppression.“I urge all those in government positions to combat this scourge with firmness, giving voice to our younger brothers and sisters who have been wounded in their dignity. All efforts must be made to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime” he said.      He explained that the 'International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking" falls on the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakita: "this enslaved, exploited and humiliated girl in A...
Lima, Peru, Oct 25, 2016 / 06:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At the National Prayer Breakfast in Lima, Peru on Friday, the nation’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, consecrated the country, his family and himself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.Taking part in the National Day of Prayer at the Swissôtel in Lima, Kuczynski in his capacity as president offered the prayer of consecration, written by the Mission for the Love of God in the Whole World.“By the authority vested in me, I make an act of consecration of myself, my family and the Republic of Peru, to the love and protection of Almighty God through the intercession of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” the president said.Participating in the event were important business and political leaders in the country, including the President of Congress, Luz Salgado, who also offered a prayer asking God for his help and protection.Of the 21 prayer breakfasts that ha...
Washington D.C., Oct 12, 2016 / 05:26 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the closing weeks of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholics should pray and fast for “a culture of life,” one Catholic member of Congress has said.“Like in the time of Queen Esther, the faithful and faith-filled need to pray and fast for God’s mercy, healing, justice, humane laws and policies and conversion. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, told pilgrims on the International Day of Prayer and Fasting on Monday.“For a time such as this, the urgency now is for persevering prayer including the Rosary and Chaplet of Mercy, asking God in Jesus’ name for protection for the weakest and most vulnerable – unborn children, persons with disabilities, and the frail elderly,” he continued.The 24th International Week of Prayer and Fasting took place from Oct. 2-10. It culminated in an all-day prayer...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has asked for prayers for peace in a world in which war is everywhere.Speaking on Sunday morning after the Angelus prayer, the Pope said that on Tuesday he will travel to the Umbrian town of Assisi to participate in the Day of Prayer for Peace.“Today, more than ever, we need peace in this war which is everywhere in the world. Let us Pray for peace!” he said.   Explaining that he is going to Assisi in the footsteps of Saint John Paul II who called for this International Day of Prayer for Peace thirty years ago, he invited all parishes, all ecclesial associations and individual believers across the world to participate in the event with their prayers.“Following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, a man of brotherhood and meekness, we are all called to offer a strong testimony to the world of our common commitment twoards peace and reconciliation between peoples” he said.And he appealed to everyone to join in prayer o...
Washington D.C., Sep 13, 2016 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- If it hopes to bring peace to racial tensions in the U.S., the Catholic Church must be more present in troubled communities and unite with other faiths in doing so, bishops insisted.“Not every neighborhood and every urban environment is filled with violence,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta said.“But when there is violence, there ought to be Catholic presence and prayer and action to raise up the frustration that drives the violence, whether it be lack of economic opportunity, jobs, education, all of those things that are really systemic examples of racism that need to be identified and confronted.”Archbishop Gregory chairs the U.S. bishops’ Task Force to Promote Peace in Our Communities, speaking in a phone call with reporters on Thursday before the National Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities.The day of prayer was held on Fri., Sept. 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit missi...
Washington D.C., Jul 23, 2016 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After several shootings and increased racial tensions around the country, the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a national day of prayer and appointed a task force devoted to peace and unity."I have stressed the need to look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the USCCB president."The Day of Prayer and special Task Force will help us advance in that direction. By stepping forward to embrace the suffering, through unified, concrete action animated by the love of Christ, we hope to nurture peace and build bridges of communication and mutual aid in our own communities."The newest statement and task force reflect sentiments in a previous statement from A...
(USCCB) In light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has invited all dioceses across the country to unite in a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities. He has also appointed a special task force to support bishops in marking that Day of Prayer, and more broadly, in promoting peace and healing during this time of great strain on civil society.On July 8, in his initial and immediate response to the racially-related shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, noted the need to look at ways the Catholic Church can walk with and help these suffering communities. The initiatives announced today begin to address that need."I have stressed the need to look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opport...
Monday 8 February has been observed the world over as the Second International Day of Prayer and awareness against human trafficking.Sr. Anna Theresa Nyadombo of Zimbabwe is a member of the religious congregation known as the Handmaids of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The congregation is part of the wider Carmelite family. Recently, Sr. Nyandombo who works for the education department of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference was in Rome, Italy to attend the second international coordinating meeting for religious women against human trafficking.Speaking to the Africa Service of Vatican Radio, Sr. Nyadombo says Africa could and should do more about human trafficking.“Human trafficking in Africa is a big problem but in Africa, we are silent about it. In this meeting that I just attended, we only had five countries from the continent of Africa namely, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda and Burkina Faso. I must say that in Africa, as religious women we are also members of ...
(Vatican Radio) On Monday February 8th the Church marks the 2nd International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, an initiative promoted particularly by women religious committed to the struggle against this modern form of slavery.Two years ago an alliance of religious congregations, bishops and international police chiefs met with Pope Francis in the Vatican and set up a network, known as the Santa Marta group, to better coordinate their work of prevention, protection of victims and prosecution of the trafficking gangs.Kevin Hyland is the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former head of the London Metropolitan Police Service’s Human Trafficking Unit. He was responsible for the convictions of numerous international crime groups and now works closely with the Santa Marta network.Hyland was in Rome this week to talk about the UK’s experience, including a new Modern Slavery Act and his own strategic plan stressing the potential ...
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