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St. Zita

Born: c.1218

Died: April 27, 1278

Canonized: 1696

Feast Day: April 27

Patron Saint of: domestic workers, maids, lost keys

Zita is also known as Sitha and Citha.

Zita came from a poor, but deeply devotional family. The lack of social standing is probably the reason Zita's last name has not been recorded in history. To help support the family, she became a maid of a wealthy family, Fatinelli, in the Tuscan city of Lucca, serving them loyally for 48 years.

From and early age, Zita expressed concern for the poor and helpless of Lucca. As her reputation spread, the needy began to seek her out. This did not sit well with the Fatinelli family, as time spent with the poor was not time spent in her maid servant duties. As the story goes, the Lord intervened as necessary. On one such event, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need. Some of the other servants made sure the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened. When they went to investigate, they found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, picking up Zita's slack. From that point on, the Fatinelli family and even the other servants were a little more understanding toward her mission. On another event, Zita had given away the family's supply of beans to the townsfolk during a severe famine. Upon suspecting this, the Fatinelli family went to the cupboard to find it full - the beans hand been miracuously replaced. Another recorded event was as dramatic, if not more so. On Christmas Eve, Zita had given away a prized and treasured family cloak to a shivering man at the doorway of St. Fredaino, the local church. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. While the elder Fatinelli was in the midst of a fit of fury, an elderly man came to the door and returned the heirloom. When townsfolk heard of the event, they decided that the man must have been an angel. From that point on, the doorway of the St. Fredaino church in Lucca has been called the "Angel Portal".

Besides being the patron saint for domestic workers and maids, she's the one to ask to help find lost keys.