Monthly Archives: April 2021



As a dedicated house-servant, St Zita quickly became a saint for domestic servants to invoke. Today domestic servants are fewer. Nonetheless, Zita still remains a saint for women engaged in the humdrum but necessary tasks of housekeeping, whether in their home or for someone else.

Zita was born in Monte Sagrati, Italy. Her parents were devout Christians, and their devotion shaped the outlook of Zita and the other children. In those days, Tuscany had no laws restricting child labour. Therefore, when she was only twelve, Zita started her lifetime job as one of the house-servants of a man named Pagano di Fatinelli. He lived in the nearby city of Lucca and ran a prosperous weaving business.

Zita, despite her youth, brought with her a mature sense of piety. From the outset, she would rise at night to pray, and in the early morning attend Mass before work-hours began. At first this annoyed her fellow-servants. She worked harder than was necessary, they thought. Her unwillingness to engage in coarse talk they took as criticism of themselves – as did her rejection of the free-and-easy attentions of the men-servants. For a time, her fellow domestics even persuaded Pagano to misjudge Zita. Meanwhile, the little girl went right ahead with her diligent work and her spiritual programme, bearing with great patience these petty trials. Eventually, her perseverance won over the opposition. Her fellow employees came to respect her convictions, and Pagano and his wife counted themselves lucky to possess such a jewel of a servant.

Zita’s principle was that her work was a part of her service to God. ‘A servant is not good,’ she used to say, ‘if she is not industrious: work-shy piety in people of our position is a sham.’ Pagano eventually made her his official housekeeper. But, although he now respected her, he still had a violent temper, so she had to treat him carefully.


Once, for instance, Zita dug very deeply into the family store of beans in order to help the poor. She told her mistress this, but both of them feared the reaction of Pagano when he found out. Wouldn’t you know it, he asked soon afterwards for an inventory of the beans. He had decided to sell a large part of them. Zita asked God to take over, and her prayer was answered miraculously. When the store of beans was examined, there were still just as many as there had been before Zita had doled them out.


God helped this servant miraculously, or at least providentially, on other occasions as well. One cold Christmas Dy when she set out for early Mass, Pagano threw his expensive coat over her shoulders to keep her warm. At the same time, he warned her not to lose the coat. But at church Zita encountered a half-naked man trembling with cold. She loaned him the coat for the duration of the Mass. At the end of Mass, however, the man and the coat both disappeared.

We may well imagine Pagano’s volcanic fury when his housekeeper humbly told him the story. However, just as they sat down to their Christmas dinner, a stranger appeared at the door and handed the coat back. When the boss and housekeeper tried to engage him in conversation, he disappeared. Nevertheless, both felt in their hearts that something wonderful had just happened. Ever since then, the people of Lucca have given the name ‘The Angel Door’ to the church entrance where Zita loaned the freezing man Pagano’s fur coat.

Zita was far more upset by the veneration people tried to show her than by all the rages of Pagano. As she grew older, her domestic duties were reduced, but she simply spent more time visiting the sick and imprisoned. She prayed with special intensity for prisoners condemned to death.

Zita the housekeeper, now aged sixty, died peacefully on April 27, 1278. Her tomb-shrine is in the church of San Frediano where she hd long attended daily Mass. On September 26, 1953, Pope Pius XII declared her the patron saint of domestic workers.

Housewives, in the kitchen, that includes you, too!
– This article by Fr Robert McNamara entitled “Saints Alive” was published in the “Divine Mercy Newsletter” 2013 Vol.71.


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Most glorious Virgin, you were chosen by the eternal Counsel to be the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh. You are the treasurer of divine graces and the advocate of sinners. I who am your most unworthy servant have recourse to you.

Graciously be my guide and counsellor in this valley of tears. Obtain for me, through the Precious Blood of your divine Son, the forgiveness of my sins, and the means necessary to obtain it. In like manner, obtain for holy Church strength, and the spread of Jesus’ kingdom over the whole earth. Amen.

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Posted by on April 26, 2021 in Prayers to Our Lady


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Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd.
You know each of us
and you call us by name
to serve in faith.
Help us respond generously to Your voice.
Give courage and guidance
to those You call to the priesthood
and the diaconate,
to religious life and lay ministry,
so they may respond wholeheartedly
and serve devotedly.
We ask this
through Christ our Lord.


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Today’s Gospel Reading – Luke 24:35-48

The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of the bread.

They were still talking about this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, “Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.

Then he told them, “This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, has to be fulfilled.” He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


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Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is love and mercy itself. Amen.

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Posted by on April 11, 2021 in Devotions


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It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You, Father
and Your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:

Dear Father, by Your wondrous
Condescension of loving-kindness towards us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.

Dear Jesus, You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured
forth in loving-kindness.

You cleared away the darkness of sin
by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.

Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.

How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

(St Gregory the Great)

Pleasington Priory, ca. 1923




O Lord Jesus,
in order that the merits of Your sacrifice
on the Cross
might be applied to every soul of all time,
You willed that it should be renewed
upon the altar.
At the Last Supper, You said:
“Do this in remembrance of Me.”
By these words
You gave Your Apostles and their successors
the power to consecrate
and the command to do what You Yourself did.
I believe that the Mass is
both a sacrifice and a memorial –
reenacting Your Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Help me to realize that the Mass
is the greatest gift of God to us
and our greatest gift to God.
At every Mass I attend
grant me the grace
to participate fully, actively and consciously
so as to give the greatest glory to God
and achieve the highest benefits for myself,
my relatives, friends and benefactors
as well as all humankind.


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