I'm tempted to write all the same things I wrote last year on this feast day--about Saint Bakhita, the Sudanese slave-girl, about the situation in Darfur (certainly not improved much since last year), etc. But we have such a marvelous confluence of readings today with the day's saint, I couldn't pass it by! The first reading is Genesis' account of the Creation of Woman, about which Pope John Paul wrote so eloquently. And the Gospel features the plucky Syro-Phoenician woman who wouldn't take Jesus' "no" for an answer. In fact, some Scripture scholars (and quite a few feminists!) think it is not unreasonable to think that this experience in the life of Jesus ("even dogs under the table eat the table scraps that fall!") brought him to the awareness that it was time for his ministry to move beyond the confines of the Chosen People. (We saw last week that his one foray into pagan territory, the land of the Gadarenes, hadn't exactly been auspicious!) At any rate, it is a good day in the liturgy for women.
And I have wonderful memories of St. Bakhita's canonization, which took place while I was stationed in Rome.