St. Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped from her African village at age 8 and spent the next 13 years of her life as a slave. She was tortured, cruelly beaten, and left with 144 permanent scars.
At the age of 19, she met Italian religious sisters who taught her about Christianity, and her life was forever changed.
Her introduction to faith led her to a profound encounter with beauty. Because of her trauma, she could only remember the inhumane treatment of her owners, but she found healing in God’s deep love. She wrote in her autobiography, “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me — I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.”
Through her conversion, she was given the courage to protest her slavery, and was freed in 1889. She spent the rest of her life as a Catholic religious sister in Northern Italy. Everyone who met Sister Josephine was moved by her beautiful faith and care for others.
This playlist features Black female artists whose voices achingly juxtapose heartbreak and beauty. Their spirits echo St. Josephine’s words: “What a great grace it is to know God!”