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8 February 2019

World Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking

Intervention of Fr. Michael Czerny, SJ, on the World Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking

On this World Day of Prayer and Awareness, the Vatican’s new Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking1 help us:

  • To see more clearly: Why does the depravity of human trafficking persist in the 21st century? Is it simply that trafficking and slavery are very profitable?
  • To understand more deeply: How does the ugly, evil business of human trafficking operate? It stays hidden and invisible, but it functions nearly everywhere, like corruption. The State must protect its citizens and residents from entrapment and slavery. Yet there isn’t much effort to prosecute and punish.
  • To respond here and now, and to commit long-term: What can you and I do to alleviate and eliminate human trafficking?

The witnesses will describe unimaginable deception, coercion and suffering. Their testimony shows concretely what can be stolen from a human life for the pleasure and profit of others. It is inconceivable until you hear a victim, a survivor tell you how it happened to him or her.

At the heart of each victim’s story is the inviolable, sacred dignity of every human person, and at the heart of each survivor’s liberation is the solidarity of others.

The first to offer solidarity have been and are the Sisters, working quietly and quietly networking, and their worldwide network is here, Talitha Kum.2

Solidarity is also in the video Human Trafficking, vividly expressing the great concern of the Church, of millions praying around the world.3

We join in praying:

Dear Saint Josephine Bakhita,
help those blinded by greed and lust who trample the human rights and dignity of their brothers and sisters.
Help them to break out of their hateful chains and to become fully human again.

Dear Saint Josephine Bakhita,
help us when we feel tempted to look away and not to help, to reject others or even to abuse them.

O Loving God,
let your merciful light flood into the darkest shadows.
Bring salvation to the innocents who suffer under sinful abuse.
Bring conversion to the utterly lost souls who hold them captive and exploit them.


1 The Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking can be found at https://migrants-refugees.va/trafficking-slavery/ in various languages and formats.
2 https://www.talithakum.info/, preghieracontrotratta@gmail.com
3 For more information, https://www.popesprayer.va/

Source: Holy See Bulletin (07-02-2019)