Meskel Square’s new patron saint

2830128012_24f30f2d7aSudan’s Catholics turn to Darfur saint

By Andrew Heavens and Skye Wheeler

KHARTOUM/JUBA (Reuters) – In a dusty church in Khartoum’s Jeberona camp for displaced persons, the congregation claps and sings beneath a portrait of a smiling woman who has become a focus of hope for a divided country.

Josephine Bakhita, a former slave who died in 1947, has risen from obscurity to become the first saint from Darfur in western Sudan, a region convulsed by war for the past five years.

“I would say she was a gift from God … an offer from God,” said Bishop Daniel Adwok, the Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of Khartoum. “She has come on time for the conflict here in Sudan.”

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