Patroness of Domestic Workers
St. Zita was born into a poor but devout Christian family. Her elder sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a Saint. Zita herself showed a marked tendency to do God’s will obediently whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother.
At the age of twelve Zita entered domestic service in the house of a well-to-do weaver in Lucca, Italy, eight miles from her native village of Monte Sagrati. At things turned out, she remained with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life. She found time every day to attend Mass and recite her plentiful prayers, as well as to carry out her household duties so punctiliously that she earned the resentment of the other servants. Indeed, her work was part of her religion! She used to say: “A servant is not pious if she is not industrious; work-shy piety in people of our position is sham piety.”
At first, her employers were upset by Zita’s lavish gifts of foot to the poor, but in time they were completely won over by her patience and goodness, and she became practically a confidential family friend. St. Zita was given free rein over her working schedule and busied herself with visit to the sick and those in prison.
Word spread rapidly in Lucca of Zita’s good deeds and the supernatural manifestations that appeared to her. She was sought out by the prominent, and at her death in 1278 the people acclaimed her as a Saint. She was canonized in 1696 by Pope Innocent III.
PRAYER: Lord God, You showered heavenly gifts on St. Zita the Virgin. Help us to imitate her virtues during our earthly life and enjoy eternal happiness with her in heaven. Amen.