Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of Domestic Workers, Maids, Servants
Saint Zita's Story
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. 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. At the age of twelve Zita became a housekeeper in the house of a rich weaver in Lucca, Italy, eight miles from her home at Monte Sagrati. 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! She use to say: "a servant is not holy if she is not busy; lazy people of our position is fake holiness." At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness and she became a very close friend. St. Zita was given a free reign over her working schedule and busied herself with visits to the sick and those in prison. Word spread rapidly in Lucca of her good deeds and the heavenly visions that appeared to her. She was sought out by the important people, and at her death in 1278 the people acclaimed her as a saint. She is the patroness of domestic workers. Her feast day is April 27.
St. ZitaMonte Sagrati and Lucca, Italy (1218–1271)Canonized: 1696 April 27 Born to devout Catholic parents, Zita was a pious girl at a very young age. When she was 12, she moved into the home of a wealthy wool merchant in Lucca, Italy, as part of the cleaning staff. She considered her work part of her prayer life. She attended daily Mass, recited morning and evening prayers, and slept on the bare floor for penance. Zita’s colleagues didn’t initially understand her devotions; some were jealous, and others felt guilty for not practicing their own faith. She was persecuted for her piety, to the point that a male colleague made advances toward her and she was forced to physically defend herself. Her employers at first refused to believe her side of the story that she was an innocent victim and object of lustful and indecent intentions. They and many of her fellow servants preferred to believe the worst and presumed she had led the man on or had wanted to seduce him. She was totally chaste and pure but refused to answer their lewd interrogations because they had already decided she was guilty. Her innocence was later established and she was vindicated. Zita’s reputation for charity soon spread throughout Lucca. During a famine, people lined up for food, and Zita gave away almost all of the family’s dry beans. She’d intended to restock the pantry but didn’t get the chance before the master of the house decided to take stock of the beans and sell them at market. Fearful that she would be fired or thrown into jail because of the missing food, Zita prayed, and, miraculously, the dry beans were restored. Zita died at age 60 and lies in state at the local parish of San Frediano in Lucca. Her casket was opened three times, the last time being in 1652. Each time, the body remained perfectly incorrupt. Today, the saint’s body remains the same except for a bit of dryness and darkness to the skin.
The Basilica of San Frediano is a Romanesque church in Lucca, Italy, situated on the Piazza San Frediano.
There you can find Saint Zita's 700 Year Old Mummified Relic
Festival of flowers for Saint Zita in Lucca
Saint Zita is the finder of lost keys
Call on her to help you find your keys
Saint Zita's Day Bread
It's customary to bake a loaf of bread in her honour today.
Legend has it:
St Zita is the patron saint of bakers, because angels reputedly baked bread for her.
When she was twelve, her family secured her a place as a servant in the house of a wealthy family named Fainelli in Lucca, Italy.
She stayed with the family for her entire life.
Once, she left off baking bread for the household in the middle to help someone in need. Other servants in the household who were jealous of her piety and goodness ratted her out to the masters of the household, but when the mistress went to check on the abandoned bread-making activities, they found angels working in the kitchen carrying on where had she left off.
St Zita's Olive Bread
2 tsp yeast
500g strong white flour
75ml (+) olive oil
175ml (+) water
200g black olives (pitted)
1 tsp dried thyme
fresh sage, thyme or marjoram leaves
Sea salt and extra oil to decorate
Mix the dry ingredients (not the olives or fresh herbs) together and then add the vermouth, oil and water.
Knead with a dough hook or your hands until you have a soft, sticky, elastic dough.
Add more water if you think it necessary. Leave to prove in a warm place for a couple of hours.
Knock the dough back and put onto an oiled work surface.
Oil your hands. Put the olives on top of the dough and fold over, then knead until the olives are well distributed.
Form into a round about 8-10 inches across and leave to prove again.
When well puffed up, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, the fresh herbs and a little more oil.
Bake in a hot oven (200c) for about thirty five minutes until golden.
Lift the base and check that the bread is cooked by tapping the bottom. You should get a hollow sound.