St. Zita, the servant girl was sent to work in a rich household in Lucca at the age of twelve. Her parents were extremely poor, but had brought their daughter up with fine morals and a deep love for the Lord Jesus.
As a servant she ate well in the rich household, but Zita gave away most of her food to beggars and to the impoverished of Lucca. At first her fellow servants laughed at her piety and kindness, but later they grew to admire her. Her master was irritated that she gave away so much. During a local famine Zita secretly gave away much of the family supply of beans, but when her master later inspected the kitchen cupboards, to Zita’s relief the beans has been miraculously replaced.
One cold Christmas Eve Zita went to church, the master lent her his cloak, and he warned her to look after it and bring it back. Zeta lent it to an old man standing in the cold outside the church. After the service the old man has disappeared with it. Her master was angry, until the poor old man appeared at his door to return the cloak. It was thought that the old man must have been an Angel in disguise and so the door of that church where he first appeared was later called the Angels Portal.
As time passed, Zita became a trusted member of the household; she could calm her master even when he fell into the most terrible fit of anger. She spent all her free time caring for the sick and visiting prisoners. In her last illness her employer wanted to feed her with luxuries, but Zita refused, she died at the age of sixty on 27th April 1278.