If you’ve ever been hurt, you know how hard it is to forgive someone. If you’re struggling to ask for the grace to forgive, look to St. Josephine Bakhita.

Josephine was born into a happy, loving home in Darfur, Sudan.

As a young child, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery several times. She was forced to convert to Islam, experienced various forms of torture, including branding, beating, and cutting, and suffered the tremendous emotional trauma of being taken from her family.

Through God’s grace, because He had a great plan for her life, she was exposed to the Catholic faith, chose to be baptized, won her freedom, and entered religious life in Italy.

Despite these horrible experiences, Bakhita spent the rest of her life serving God cheerfully and being a radiant witness to others. She had not only found freedom from physical slavery, but spiritual freedom in Christ.

At one point, a student asked Bakhita what she would do if she encountered her captors again.

She replied, “If I were to meet the slaves who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today.”

Instead of being trapped in the slavery of resentment when others hurt us, we must ask for the grace to forgive. It is difficult, I know. That’s why we need God’s grace.

Prayer for the Grace to Forgive

Lord, I’m plagued by the hurt
I’ve experienced in my life,
and I’m finding it hard to want to forgive.

I ask that, through the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita,
I might receive the graces necessary
to forgive those who have hurt me.

St. Josephine Bakhita, model of forgiveness,
obtain for me the grace to forgive.


Here’s another prayer you can commit to memory and pray often:

St. Josephine Bakhita, model of forgiveness,
obtain for me the grace to forgive. Amen.

St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!

This article is an excerpt from “The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven” ©2022 David and Debbie Cowden. Please only reproduce with permission.

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[See also: 6 Intriguing Facts About the Amazing & Courageous St. Josephine Bakhita]

[See also: 8 Black Saints & Holy People of God Every Catholic Should Know, With Prayers for Intercession]

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