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The festival of Santa Zita

[cml_media_alt id='6593']Poggio Pratelli[/cml_media_alt]

The population of Lucca is very devoted to Santa Zita, almost as much as to the Holy Face. The devotion for Zita, in “odor of sanctity,” grew significantly throughout her life, so that at her death, the worshippers of Lucca wanted her body to be buried in the Basilica of San Frediano and the tradition reports that it remained uncorrupted : it is still visible – naturally mummified – in a transparent case, under the altar of the chapel to it dedicated. The last canonical recognition of the mummified body was carried out in 1989, along with the paleopathological study.

Santa Zita was so revered in Tuscany to be mentioned by Dante Alighieri who, referring to a magistrate of Lucca, talks about the elders of Saint Zita, already identifying Lucca with the saint. Let’s also notice that at the time when the Divine Comedy was written,  attested between 1307 and 1321, Zita was already dead (1278), but had not been canonized yet, because her cult was approved September 5th, 1696 by Pope Innocent XII. Nevertheless, Dante already indicated her as a saint, as a further proof of the great popular devotion..

Santa Zita was proclaimed patroness of the housekeepers by Pius XII, but she is also patron of Lucca, of the housewives and the bakers. The week of April 27th takes place in Lucca, near the basilica of San Frediano and the amphitheater of Lucca, a floral show in honor of the saint, to remember the miracle of the loaves turned into flowers.

She holds the female congregation of the Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Institute of Santa Zita. Her liturgical memory occurs on April 27.

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