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No stranger to the horror of being kidnapped and enslaved, St. Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869 to a prosperous Sudanese family. Slave traders abducted her in 1877 re-naming her Bakhita, or lucky. She was sold several times. Italian diplomat Callisto Legnani bought her in 1883 intending to freeing her. She went to Italy with his family and worked as a nanny.
Josephine Bakhita converted to Catholicism on Jan. 9, 1890 making Josephine her new Christian name. In 1893, she joined the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice. Known for comforting the indigent and afflicted, she became famous when a biography of her life came out in 1930. She became a prominent public speaker attracting financing for causes.
Josephine died of natural causes on Feb. 8, 1947 at Schio in the Canossian convent. Pope John Paul II beatified her in May 1992 and canonized her in October 2000.