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The Patron Saint of victims and survivors of human trafficking.

VERY FIRST SUNDAY OF FEBRUARY is declared as an annual event to observe the National Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking (NDPAHT), declared during the biannual CBCP Plenary Council in 2023. This specific Sunday is chosen to honor St. Josephine Bakhita, whose Feast Day is February 8, and is hailed the Patron Saint of victims and survivors of human trafficking. NDPAHT is also an expression of the Catholic Church’s strong commitment to combat trafficking by dedicating one specific Sunday to understanding and reflecting on the issue of this modern-day slavery that undermines a person’s dignity through abuse and exploitation of various forms. The Sunday catechesis, homilies, and BEC/ministry formation are occasions for reflection, prayers, and discernment of relevant programs to fight human trafficking and provide immediate care for the victims/survivors. All dioceses are enjoined to observe the NDPAHT and encouraged to organize their own respective celebrations as appropriate. This isn’t just about raising awareness. Sunday sermons, teachings, and community gatherings become opportunities for deep reflection, prayer, and action. Together, we can brainstorm programs to prevent trafficking and support victims and survivors who have bravely escaped its clutches. On Saturday, February 3, the CBCP Cluster against human trafficking (CCAHT) headed by the Migrants Ministry together with other commissions, i.e. Youth, Women, Social Action, Public Affairs, Indigenous Peoples, Laity, Health Care, Family and Life and BEC, to name a few, will be holding a short activity with its different networks highlighting the importance of collaboration and partnership in combating human trafficking in our midst. There will be a Eucharistic celebration which is dedicated to NDPAHT and is OPEN TO EVERYONE at Edsa Shrine, noon. This will be presided over by the CBCP Secretary-general, Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, and will be aired on Radio Veritas. Haman Trafficking is a crimeRev. Fr. Jerome Secillano hosted the event as the Rector of the EDSA Shrine and as an active member of the CCAHT being the Executive Secretary of the CBCP’s Permanent Council for Public Affairs. After the Eucharistic celebration is a short fellowship and program among the advocates and networks partnering at different levels to the key framework responses on prevention, protection, and prosecution.


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