Saint Josephine Bakhita was born in Central Africa. As a child she was kidnapped by slave traders and sold into slavery in her own country. She was terribly mistreated until an Italian couple purchased her. They were kind to Bakhita and took her with them to Italy. Eventually Bakhita was sent as their little daughter's companion to the Canossian Sisters' school in Venice. Here she learned the Catholic Faith and pleaded to remain with the Sisters when the family decided to return to Africa. The authorities intervened on Bakhita's behalf stating that slavery was illegal in Italy. She joined the Canossian Sisters in 1895 where she was known as Mother Josephine. She was described as "pure as an Angel, meek as a lamb." She often said, "Mary protected me even before I knew her," and "O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of Your goodness at the top of my voice, O how many souls would be won."