The saints' calendar is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint. The system arose from the early Christian custom of annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths, or birth into heaven. On 27 april Saint Zita (1212–1272) is commemorated as saint patron of domestic workers. If the Holy See in Vatican City had become member of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the ratification of its Convention 189 surely would have taken place on that very day.
„Zita“ is a short form of the Latin word „Felicitas“ and means „the luck“. Zita lived in the Tuscan city Lucca. Twelve-year-old she came as a farm servant into the rich family Pagano di Fatinelli. There she wasn't very well, although she was very hard-working and always friendly. Not only the family members, but also the other domestic workers bullied and mocked her, what however made not loose her imperturbability and kindness. The fact that she was very religious and helped the poor in a special way, whenever she could – similarly as Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia – has been reflected in different legends. So the water, which she poured out to the poor, e.g. became wine, and bread, which she brought to the poor without the knowledge of her lordship, transformed in her pinafore into roses. Once, the legend reports, she lent the coat of her master during his absence to a deserving poor. When the agreed time had elapsed, the beggar had disappeared with the coat. Hours later the beggar returned with it and revealed himself to Zita as Christ. She died on 27 April 1272 of tuberculosis.
Already during her lifetime many humans believed Zita to be a saint. In 1276 the bishop of Lucca permitted her adoration. In 1321 a chapel in the church of San Frediano was constructed for her, into which also the coffin with her mummified body was transferred. In 1696 the Pope canonized her. Usually she is pictured in the dress of a maid, and with a bunch of keys, water jug and three bread loaves.
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Source: Weilburger Nachrichten