april 27. zita, the professional penitent
Patron saint of domestic servants, homemakers, lost keys, people ridiculed for their piety, rape survivors, single laywomen, waiters, and waitresses
Lived 1218 to 1272
Zita, an Italian servant, was slavish with a capital S. As the authoress of The Rosary Workout (yes, that's a thing!) notes, Zita's "life bears many similarities to Cinderella's." Zita believed that her slavery was "a remedy for the spiritual disorder of [human] souls," and she praised God for placing her in a station that allowed her to be a professional penitent. As such, she submitted with pleasure to cruel masters who reviled her, overburdened her, and beat her. No amount of unjust pummeling could rob her of her"inward peace, her love of those who wronged her, and her respect for her [evil] employers."
Like Saint Agnes, "she kept fast the whole year, often on bread and water, and took her rest on the bare floor."
AT LEAST SHE MAKES HERSELF USEFUL
Saint Zita is a minor-league Anthony of Padua. She relieves his holy load by responding when invoked to recover lost keys. One blogger suggests this intercession: Zita, zita if you please, help me find my missing keys. Feather-brained medieval housemaids and housewives started this trend; they would also invoke her while crossing bridges.