St. Zita
13th Century Italy

Saint Zita in papermaché

Also known as Sitha or Citha, Saint Zita was a domestic servant renowned for her generosity to the poor. She is often represented giving bread to the poor. She allegedly got into trouble sometimes for giving away her masters' food.

Among the many stories about Zita there is one in which her master feeling sorry for her setting out to Mass in the cold on Christmas Eve - loaned her his fur cloak but warned her not to give it away. At the door of the church Zita encountered a shivering beggar and explained "I can't give you this cloak but you can wear it while I am inside at Mass". When the service was over, the beggar was gone. However the next day a stranger returned the cloak to Zita's master and the rumour grew that the beggar must have been an angel. To this day the door of the Church of San Frediano Lucca is called the Angel Portal.

Zita is the patron saint of Servants, Waiters and Waitresses, lost keys and homemakers.

Further information on St. Zita can be found in Lives of the Saints, The Catholic Encyclopedia or Saints Index on Catholic Forum

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