Today, February 8, is the First International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, commented, “The Holy Father invites us all to recognize that we are facing a global phenomenon which exceeds the competence of any one community or country. In order to eliminate it, we need a mobilisation comparable in size to that of the phenomenon itself”. The prelate explained that the International Day against Human Trafficking constitutes “a mobilisation of awareness and prayer on a global scale. Our awareness must expand and extend to the very depths of this evil and its farthest reaches… from awareness to prayer… from prayer to solidarity… and from solidarity to concerted action, until slavery and trafficking are no more.”
On the occasion of this first day of prayer and reflection, all dioceses, parishes, associations, campuses, families, and individuals are invited to reflect and pray in order to cast light on this crime, as indicated by the theme of the initiative. In addition, prayer vigils will be held in different countries, culminating in the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.
Today, the faithful are invited to recite the following prayer:
O God, when we hear of children and adults
deceived and taken to unknown places for
purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour, and
organ ‘harvesting,’ our hearts are saddened and
our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are
ignored through threats, lies, and force.
We cry out against the evil practice of this modern
slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end.
Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and
stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits
have been so wounded, so that together we may
make real your promises to fill these sisters and
brothers with a love that is tender and good.
Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be
converted from this wickedness, and help us all to
claim the freedom that is your gift to your