Saint Zita of Lucca

Zita was born at the village of Monte Sagrati in 1218, her parents were poor, devout Christians; Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always tried to do God’s will obediently whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother.

When she was twelve years old, Zita went to Lucca, eight miles from her home, to be a servant girl of the Fatinelli family which carried on a prosperous wool and silk weaving business; and as things turned out, she stayed with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life. She found time every day to attend Mass and to recite many prayers, as well as to carry out her household duties so perfectly that the other servants were jealous of her. Indeed, her work was part of her religion! Her daily work became a part of her religious life. She was famous to say:

“A servant girl is not pious, if she is not industrious; work shy piety is sham piety.”

At the same time she led a very prayerful and penitential life. She rose nightly for prayer; and daily she attended the first Mass in the adjacent church of San Frediano. The good food she received for herself, she gave to the poor, and lived on waste scraps or fasted. She wore only the poorest clothes and never put on shoes, even in winter.Read More »