Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 April – St Zita of Lucca

Saint of the Day – 27 April – St Zita of Lucca (1212-1272) Virgin, apostle of charity.   Also known as Cita, Sita, Citha, Sitha.   Patronages: housewives, butlers, domestic servants (proclaimed by Pope Pius XII), homemakers, housemaids, lost keys, maids, manservants, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, servants, servers, single laywomen, waiters, waitstaff, waitresses, Lucca, Italy.   Attributes: depicted with bag, cooking equipment, dishes, keys, kitchen equipment, loaves, plates, platters, rosary, serving maid with a bag and keys.   Her body is incorrupt.

Saint Zita was born in Tuscany in the village of Monsagrati, not far from Lucca where, at the age of 12 she became a servant in the Fatinelli household.    For a long time, she was unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled and often beaten by her employers and fellow servants for her hard work and obvious goodness.    The incessant ill-usage, however, was powerless to deprive her of her inward peace, her love of those who wronged her, and her respect for her employers.    By this meek and humble self-restraint, Zita at last succeeded in overcoming the malice of her fellow-servants and her employers, so much so that she was placed in charge of all the affairs of the house.    Her faith had enabled her to persevere against their abuse and her constant piety gradually moved the family to a religious awakening.

Zita often said to others that devotion is false if slothful.    She considered her work as an employment assigned to her by God and as part of her penance and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God.    She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep.    She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day, with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings and studied when possible to anticipate them.

One anecdote relates a story of Zita giving her own food or that of her master to the poor. On one morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need.    Some of the other servants ensured the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened; when they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, baking the bread for her.
St. Benita Zita died peacefully in the Fatinelli house on April 27, 1272.    It is said that a star appeared above the attic where she slept at the moment of her death.    She was 60 years old and had served and edified the family for 48 years.   By her death, she was practically venerated by the family.    After one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession were juridically proven, she was canonised in 1696.

Her body was exhumed in 1580, discovered to be incorrupt   St Zita’s body is currently on display for public veneration in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca.

To this day, families bake a loaf of bread in celebration of St. Zita’s feast day.    Soon after Zita’s death a popular cult grew up around her, centring on the church of St Frigidian in Lucca.    This was also joined by prominent members of the city.    Pope Leo X sanctioned a liturgical cult within the church in the early 16th century, and was confirmed upon her canonisation.    In 1748, Pope Benedict XIV added her name to the Roman Martyrology.

During the late medieval era, her popular cult had grown throughout Europe.    In England she was known under the name Sitha and was popularly invoked by maidservants and housewives, particularly in event of having lost one’s keys, or when crossing rivers or bridges.    Images of St. Zita may be seen in churches across the south of England.    The church of St Benet Sherehog in London had a chapel dedicated to her, and was locally known as St. Sithes

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings but rejects the Second Vatican Council as heretical and, therefore, all that followed it.

2 thoughts on “Saint of the Day – 27 April – St Zita of Lucca

  1. I wonder Stacy but, hopefully, it has only been an inspiration to servants, their masters and servants of humility. Think on the depths of humility of the soul of St Zita – what a disciple she makes and what a teacher of holiness, most especially to those in command of, or senior to, others. O Lord but that we could attain even an iota of such humility, especially in the face of incessant brutality and bullying. And, I am 100% sure, that daily Mass and Communion gave her the courage and strength she needed to overcome and CHANGE them.

    Like

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