Zita was born in the year 1218 in Monsagrati, a village in Tuscany. Thisvillage was very close to Lucca. At the very tender age of twelve, shewent on to become a servant in the Fatinelli household, about eightmiles away from her home. The Fatinelli family were into the wool andcotton business and were prosperous in it. She worked for the Fatinellihousehold for forty-eight years until her death at the age of sixty.
Zita was from a poor family, but her parents were very devotedChristians. Her sister later became a nun, while her uncle, Graziano,became a saintly hermit.
Servanthood and Lifestyle
She served the Fatinelli household devotedly and did it with religiousdedication. She believed that her genuine service was an act of worshipto God and should be done well.
Despite her hectic schedule, Zita was still very prayerful. Shemaintained a life of prayer and fasting. She attended mass regularly atthe church of San Frediano. Zita gave out all the good food she receivedas her ration to the poor and hungry. She had no care for what she wore.She gave out most of her clothes and was always seen with tatteredclothes. Even in the wintertime, she didn’t care about footwear.
Because of her lifestyle, she was greatly despised by her fellowservants. They constantly insulted her and persecuted her for heruprightness. She was also humiliated by her employers despite herdiligence and loyalty. For a while, they maltreated her, but Zita wasnot affected by this. She remained patient and didn’t complain on anyoccasion. She saw all her suffering as an opportunity to endure just ashow Christ had endured. She remained patient and never for once lost herpeace.
One time there was famine, and many persons had no food to eat and nomeans to survive. St. Zita was moved by the afflictions of the poor inthe society. She decided to give out beans from her master’s storewithout informing him. She gave out the beans to the poor and hungry.Not long after, her master, after seeing the price for the beans hadgone higher, decided that it was time to sell and make a huge profit.Zita was scared that he would find out that the quantity of beans hadreduced in size. Much to her amazement, when the master went into thestore, there was no decrease in the quantity of the beans. The bagshowed no sign as though something was taken from it. This was indeed amiracle.
Not long after, Zita became loved by every member of the household.Soon, she was made the chief housekeeper. Despite this, she stillcarried out her duty with vigor and dedication.
Death and Canonization
Zita lived a fulfilled life. She served the Fatinelli household untilher death on April 12, 1272. On the night she died, a star rose aboveher room in the attic. She died at the age of 60. She was dearly lovedand adored by the Fatinelli family.
Her body was exhumed in 1580 and was found to be incorruptible. The bodyis displayed in Basilica di San Frediano for public veneration.
Zita was canonized in 1696 after more than 150 miracles were reported tohave taken place due to her intercession.
A cult grew in her name after her death. The cult was centered at theBasilica of San Frediano in Lucca. Pope Innocent XII formally approvedthis cult in 1696. She is known as the patron Saint of domestic workers.
Her feast day is observed every April 27.
Prayer to St. Zita
St. Zita,inspire us to take pride in our daily workand do it to the best of our abilitiesout of Love for God.May we find Jesus in the most menial of tasks.May we always embrace a spirit of obedienceand charity as you did.Pray for us, St. Zita,that we may have a generous heart that gives even when we have little.Place a trust in Jesus deep in our heartthat we may never experience despair or loss of hope.Please carry the petitions we hold in our heartto Jesus on our behalf.Mention your intentions hereAmen.