Zita is known as the patron saint of domestic workers. She was born in the village of Monte Sagrati, Italy, in 1218. Her parents were deeply religious and raised Zita in a loving, Christian way. It was the custom of poor couples to send their teenage daughters to trustworthy families who could afford servants. The young women would live with the families for a time and were employed to do the domestic tasks. 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 tried to live responsibly. She formed habits of praying that fit in with her schedule. She rose early to go
to daily Mass.
Zita was diligent in her work. She felt it was part of her very self. But the other workers were annoyed. They tried to do as little as they could get away with. They began to pick on Zita and oppose her without their employers noticing. Zita was hurt but she prayed for patience. She never told on the workers. She insisted on doing 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 became the head housekeeper. The Fatinelli children were placed under her care. Best of all, the other workers stopped persecuting her. Some even began to imitate her.
Zita spent her whole life with the Fatinelli family. While others came and went, she stayed. She served them lovingly. She loved them like she loved her own family. By her example, she helped people see that work is beautiful when it is done with Christian love. Zita died peacefully on April 27, 1278. She was sixty years old.
The life of this saint tells us that work is beautiful when it is done with Christian love. How do I value my work?