Domestic work is one of honor and industriousness. Do you have household help in your home? Perhaps those who help to keep our churches clean? There is no more powerful patroness for those in this line of invaluable work than Saint Zita, whose body remains incorrupt. What a lovely gift a Saint Zita bracelet would be.
Zita, born to a poor and devout Catholic family, went at the age of 12 to live with a wealthy family as the household help. Her employers, who owned a successful family weaving business, kept her as an employee from age 12 until her death 48 years later, such a treasured part of the household was she. She attended daily Mass, even going out of her way to a neighboring village through dangerous parts, but always protected by mysterious friends along the way. Zita believed, like modern day saint Jose Maria Escriva, that work is holy. A famous quote of Zita's sums up her philosophy: “A servant girl is not pious, if she is not industrious; work shy piety is sham piety.” Zita took much abuse from her fellow housemaids and servants but in the end, she earned such respect from her employers that she was given charge over their children as well. She always gave extra food scraps to the hungry in town, yet the family's stores of food never ran dry and were always miraculously full despite her generosity.
Zita's body remains incorrupt and on display in Italy 700+ years after her death.
St. Zita's feast day is April 27, and she is the patroness of maids and domestic servants.