Saint Zita
By Anne Van Tilburg
Published on 09/15/2011
Saint Zita

Saint Zita
Once upon a time in Italy, there lived a little girl named Zita who left home at the age of 12 to become a servant.  As she grew older, she stayed a servant.  And when she died, she was still a servant.  She was not a slave or an outcast or a person too dumb to do anything else.  It was Zita's way of life to serve God by serving others.

She cleaned and cooked and took care of the children for 48 years as housekeeper for Mr. and Mrs. Fatinelli.  When the young Zita had finished her work, she would do whatever else needed to be done.  When she saw a pin or an apple core on the floor or a toy on the floor, she did not ask whose job it was to pick it up, she just picked it up.  You would think the other servants would be pleased when she tried to help them in this way, but they were not.  They were jealous of her because she worked so hard, and made them seem lazy and careless.

Zita knew this but her nature was naturally sweet, and she did not get all huffy and think, "Well, is that all the thanks I get?"  She just kept doing her work because she knew that Jesus wanted her to love other people, even though sometimes it was a bit difficult. Because of the way that Zita loved all the people in the house, Mr. Fatinelli gave her complete charge of the house-hold, from storage attic to wine cellar, which meant Zita had to get up earlier than the chickens and went to bed when everyone else was asleep.

Zita went to Mass every morning before she set the bread dough to rise. One day she was late in getting home from church and the faster she ran, the more times she tripped and slowed down. 'Oh', she thought, 'I hope Josepha takes care of the dough or else it will spill over the bowl onto the table and floor and the bread will be ruined!

She tripped again, this time over two chickens crossing the road.  Finally she reached home and rushed into the kitchen.  There, cooling on the racks were crisp golden loaves, brushed with cream and sugar, filling the room with a smell that was absolutely heavenly. In all her life, Zita had never seen such perfect loaves.

Zita called the kitchen servants and thanked them for saving her bread, but they were surprised and said they did not know what she was talking about.  Then Jesus spoke to her with a smile in His voice, "Do you like the heavenly bread my angels baked for you Zita?"  And then she knew who had come to her rescue.  And so did the servants. From that time on, they were no longer jealous of her.  They tried to outdo each other in their work to win her praise.

Zita's quiet hidden life spilled over like her dough, into the life of everyone she met.  She became so well known for her sweet holiness that the poet Dante wrote about her and called the town where she lived 'Santa Zita'.

If your mother asks you to make your bed or tidy your room, or pick up dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket, ask Saint Zita to help you.  And as she loved and helped all children while she was on earth, she will surely help you now that she is in heaven with Jesus.

Source: Once upon a time saints.