Thursday, February 23, 2006

Saint Zita

Zita is known as the Patron Saint of domestic workers. She was born in the village of Monte Sagrati in Italy. Her parents were very pious and raised Zita in a loving, Christian way. In those days poor parents normally sent their teenage daughters to work with trustworthy families who could afford servants. The young women would live with the families for a few years and were paid to do the housework. Zita was sent to the Fatinelli family in Lucca when she was twelve.

Mr. and Mrs. Fatinelli were good people who had several workers. Zita was happy to be able to work and send money to her parents. She did her duties well and formed habits of praying at fixed times each day. She woke early in the morning to go to daily Mass.

Zita’s work was part of her religion. She was a hard-worker and this made the other workers angry. They were lazy and tried to do as little as they could get away with. They began to pick on Zita and were always against her when their employers were not around.

Zita was very hurt but she prayed for patience. She never complained about the workers. She firmly did her work as well as possible no matter what they thought. When one of the workers tried to kiss her, Zita fought him off. He left the room with several scratches on his face.

Mr. Fatinelli questioned her privately about the incident. She told him honestly what had happened. After that, Zita was made the head housekeeper. The Fatinelli children were placed under her care. Best of all, the other workers stopped bullying her. Some even tried to be like her.

Zita spent her whole life with the Fatinelli family. While others came and went, she stayed. She served them lovingly and cared for them as her own family. Zita died peacefully on April 27, 1278. She was sixty years old. Her feast day is April 27th.

By her example, Saint Zita helps us see that work is beautiful when it is done with Christian love.

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