I am currently listening to, and greatly enjoying, the audiobook of Véronique Olmi’s Bakhita. Once I have finished listening (and reading), I will write a proper review.
Listening to Olmi’s novel made me wonder what St Bakhita (whose saint’s day it is later this week) wrote herself. The answer is not much. As with St Thérèse of Lisieux, she was a reluctant autobiographer, telling her story only under obedience to her mother superior. The resulting journal, which is currently available in Italian and French but not in English, is simple but extremely powerful.
I was also greatly struck by a collection of pensées that are included in the Journal but which were collected by those who knew Bakhita in Italy. Time and time again, Bakhita directed her listeners away from her own great suffering towards the faithfulness of God.
What we have, therefore, are two great books which are, in some ways, quite different from each other. The first will be available in English translation soon. Let’s hope the second is translated soon after.