Thursday 8 February 2024

About Today Readings

St Jerome Emiliani; St Josephine Bakhita

1 Kings 11:4–13. Lord, remember us, for the love you bear your people – Psalm 105(106):3–4, 35–37, 40. Mark 7:24–30.

The saints inspire by the example of faith in action

Today we celebrate the feast days of Saints Josephine Bakhita and Jerome Emiliani. Both saints worked for those on the margins, the poor and oppressed. They took it on themselves to advocate and take action to improve the lives of others. African St Josephine (1869–1947) especially undertook the work of fighting for the freedom of slaves, as she herself had known that condition of servitude and cruelty. We are reminded of the fact that modern slavery exists and is seen in worker exploitation, economic migration and the sex trade. Italian Saint Jerome (1486–1537) worked in the service of the poor, especially orphans and abandoned children, when he opened orphanages for them so that they could have some safety from the predations of life on the streets and the aftermath of war, famine and plague. He became the family they did not have. Both saints lived their lives to love God and serve others, especially those least cared for by society. May we be inspired by their example of faith in action.

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