February 8 will be the first International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking.The Vatican has organized this international day of prayer in hopes that the world will forces in putting this “plague” to an end by praying a specially composed prayer. (See below)
The event, titled “Turn on a light against human trafficking”, also coincides with the feast day of former Sudanese slave St. Josephine Bakhita. Faithful who participate are invited to pray a special prayer given by the Vatican, and to light candles in remembrance of all who are affected by modern forms of slavery.
Trafficking in human beings is an illegal industry estimated to affect 36 million people around the world and to generate $150 billion in annual profits. It’s been a matter of concern for Francis from his time in Argentina, and has emerged as a core preoccupation of his papacy.
All are invited to join in the prayer to be recited on Feb. 8, the International Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking:
“O God, when we hear of children and adults deceived and taken to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ ‘harvesting’, our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force.
We cry out against the evil practice of this modern slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end.
Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits have been so wounded, so that together we may make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good.
Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be converted from this wickedness, and help us all to claim the freedom that is your gift to your children.
“Our awareness must expand and extend to the very depths of this evil and its farthest reaches – from awareness to prayer, from prayer to solidarity, and from solidarity to concerted action – until slavery and trafficking are no more,” Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told journalists at a Feb. 3 news conference.
Set to take place this Sunday, Feb. 8, the event, titled “Turn on a light against human trafficking”, also coincides with the feast day of former Sudanese slave St. Josephine Bakhita. Faithful who participate are invited to pray a special prayer given by the Vatican, and to light candles in remembrance of all who are affected by modern forms of slavery.