This Saturday is the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, a former slave canonised by Pope St John Paul II in 2000 who is now patron of survivors of human trafficking.
This new slavery is a scourge which has entrapped an estimated 25 million people around the world, even in developed countries.
It is of such concern to the Catholic Church that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General have designated St Josephine’s feast as the annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking.
The Church is not only leading the spiritual struggle against human trafficking but is also at the forefront of practical efforts to bring it to a halt and liberate its victims.
The faithful can help through their prayers and by supporting one or more of the many great organisations, often Church-led, working in this field. These include the Arise Foundation and the Medaille Trust, the UK’s largest dedicated shelter charity for enslaved people.
There are also many regional projects that would welcome your support, such as Women at the Well, by which the Sisters of Mercy reach out to London prostitutes.