Among the young saints of the Church are those who followed the Passionist charism, that is, those who made the paschal offering of Christ on the cross and His sorrowful mother so very central to their. The oblation of Christ crucified is THE Christian spirituality of our day, especially given the suffering many of us endure for the faith and for Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother is one such figure that we would do well to spend time learning. As the Mass collect above suggests, we are to ask for the grace to participate in the Lord’s Passion with the hope of his glory. This is the destiny of all Christians.
With the Church we pray:
God, who drew blessed Josephine from abject servitude to
the dignity of being your daughter and a spouse of Christ, grant to us, we ask, that by her example, we may follow the crucified Jesus with constant love, and be lovingly ready to persevere in mercy.
The young Miss Bakhita (1869-1947) was entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice and it was there that she came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage…”
After several months in the catechumenate, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist) and was given the new name, Josephine on January 9, 1890. With expressive eyes that sparkled, revealing intense emotions, she radiated joy. Josephine was often observed kissing the baptismal font and saying: “Here, I became a daughter of God!”
The Arabic word “Bakhita” means fortunate one. Indeed, Saint Josephine was fortunate. The Vatican biography written at the time of her canonization can be found here. When Pope John Paul II canonized Josephine she was the first Sudanese saint and she is the patron of evangelical reconciliation and freedom.
Would that we all kissed the baptismal font!!!