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St. Zita

Saint Zita of Lucca


Zita was born in the early thirteenth century to a poor but pious family in Tuscany. At the age of twelve, she became a maid for a wealthy family in Lucca. Zita attended to all her duties for the sake of God, not other men, but her jealous fellow servants considered her great piety and diligence to be vain and prideful. For some time they turned the family against Zita by false accusations and other malicious efforts. But Zita persevered, and eventually the family recognized her true sanctity. She was given the keys to the household, and put in charge of all domestic affairs, a role she fulfilled with no thought of vengeance against the other servants. Zita was so generous to the poor with her own wages that the family put their own almsgiving under her prudent direction. She attended Mass early every day before beginning her work, and spent any free time in prayer and meditation. After decades of faithful service, she died peacefully in the year of Our Lord 1272. Her saintly renown was so great that, just decades later, the poet Dante referred to the city of Lucca as “Santa Zita”. She is considered a patroness of servants, lost keys, and those ridiculed for their piety.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 27th

AT Nicomedia, during the persecution of Diocletian, the birthday of St. Anthimus, bishop and martyr, who obtained the glory of martyrdom for the faith by decapitation. Nearly all his numerous flock followed him; the judge ordered some to be beheaded, some to be buried alive, and others to be put in boats and sunk in the sea.

At Tarsus, in Cilicia, the Saints Castor and Stephen, martyrs.

At Rome, the demise of the blessed pope Anastatius, a man most rich in his poverty, and filled with apostolic zeal, whom Rome, says St. Jerome, did not deserve to possess long, lest the capital of the world should be devastated under such a bishop; for shortly after his death Rome was taken and sacked by the Goths.

At Bologna, St. Tertullian, bishop and confessor.

At Brescia, the bishop St. Theophilus.

At Constantinople, the abbot St. John, who combated vigorously for the worship of holy images, under Leo the Isaurian.

At Tarragona, the blessed Peter Armengaudius, of the Order of Blessed Mary of Mercy for the Redemption of Captives, who endured many tribulations in Africa in ransoming the faithful, and finally closed his career peacefully in the convent of St. Mary of the Meadows.

At Lucca in Italy, blessed Zita, a virgin renowned for virtues and miracles, whose festival is celebrated on this day, conformably to the decree of the Sovereign Pontiff, Leo X.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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