About Today

Saint Josephine Bakhita by See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

February 8

Saints Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Josephine Bakhita, Virgin

Optional Memorial

St. Jerome was born in Venice in 1481. In 1518, he was ordained a priest after his service in the army ended. St. Jerome made it his priority to minister to the less fortunate, especially orphans, the infirm, and fallen women. Throughout Northern Italy, he opened multiple hospitals, schools, and homes for children. St. Jerome is the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children. [1][2]

St. Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869 in the Darfur region of Sudan. As a child, she was captured by slave-traders and sold successively. Eventually, a kind Italian consul purchased her and brought her safely to Italy where she became a nanny. She came to know the Canossian Sisters in Venice and joined their Order. Her desire for others to come to know the Lord is expressed in her advice, “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!” [3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 732.
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Jerome Emiliani.”
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
[4] Vatican News Services, Mother Josephine Bakhita, October 2000.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate these Saints as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 05