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Lives of the Saints:

How They Changed the World

Saint Zita (1212–1272)

Saint Zita (1212–1272)

Patron saint of maids and domestic servants.

Feast day: April 27

Saint Zita “showed a marked tendency to do God’s will whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother.” She was a maid for 50 years in a weaver’s house in Lucca, and she gave away her food and the money she earned to the poor. She memorably said, “work-shy piety is sham piety,” meaning that talking spiritual is empty and acting religious is foolish, but doing what you say is most important. (From Saints Passionate and Peculiar [Saint Mary’s Press]) (Image in public domain-100)