Pope Francis has released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for February, which this month is on human trafficking and slavery. Source: Vatican News.
Today is the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking and is also the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint of victims of slavery and Sudan.
In his prayer intention, Pope Francis calls us to pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.
It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.
The full text of his intention is below:
Although we try to ignore it, slavery is not something from other times.
Faced with this tragic reality, no one can wash their hands of it without being, in some way, an accomplice to this crime against humanity.
We cannot ignore the fact that there is as much slavery in the world today as there was before, or perhaps more.
Let us pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.
Last week, Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans, Catholic Religious Australia and Australian Catholic Bishops Conference also encouraged Catholics to mark St Bakhita’s Day today and at Masses this weekend.
The Sydney Archdiocese will today host a seminar and expo to help companies and religious organisations understand their obligations under new federal and state legislation to combat slavery and human trafficking.
Pope's February prayer intention: Human Trafficking (Vatican News)
Leaders call for end to slavery (CathNews)
Anti-slavery expo to prepare businesses for new laws (Sydney Archdiocese)