Saint Zita served as a servant from the age of twelve in the Fatinelli household in Tuscany. The Fatinelli family were not kind to her - she was very often beaten, despised, looked down upon,, and overburdened. This terrible treatment was not limited to the Fatinelli family as the other servants would often follow their example when working alongside Saint Zita. For years this abuse continued all while Saint Zita carried out her tasks with joy, never losing her self restraint, never showing any negative emotion towards those who treated her poorly. Every morning she woke herself hours before dawn to ensure she could hear Mass. Though the work and servitude was tough, Saint Zita viewed this work as being assigned by God and endured the mistreatment as penance.
Saint Zita would frequently give her food and any extra helpings cooked in the household to the poor despite the very real threat of punishment if she was ever caught. One morning she departed the household to take care of a poor neighbor when she should have been in the kitchen baking bread. The servants, seeing an opportunity to get Saint Zita in trouble, immediately informed the Fatinelli that she had left the chore incomplete. When they arrived in the kitchen they did not find an empty room of unfinished work - instead they found angels inside baking the bread for Saint Zita.
Through her unshakable inner peace and faith the Fatinelli had a religious reawakening after several years of employing Saint Zita. She was placed in charge of all affairs in the household and given the respect typically given only to members of the family. For a total of 48 years Saint Zita served the family, never losing her joy or faith. On April 27th, 1272, Saint Zita died peacefully in the Fatinelli house. Between her death and canonization in 1696 over 150 miracles were attributed to her intercession.
Saint Zita's body was exhumed in 1580 and found to be incorrupt. Today her body is on public display in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca, Italy. Her feast day is celebrated on April 27th and she is considered the Patron Saint of servants, homemakers, waiters, and waitresses.