"Lucca III" Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Things to Do Tip by iandsmith

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  Will she ever be allowed to rest?
by iandsmith

Lucca has its share of interesting churches, most notably the Duomo San Martino, Chiesa Di San Michele and the Chiesa Di San Frediano.
In the latter you will find St. Vita, model and heavenly patroness of domestic servants. Frankly, I found her story fascinating.
Employed by the Fatinelli family in the 13th century at the age of twelve, her piety and exactitude with which she carried out her domestic duties, where she regarded herself as serving God rather than man, even supplying the deficiences of her fellow workers. Rather than gaining their love or the esteem of her employers it brought upon her every manner of ill-treatment from her equals and, through their accusations, her employers. The incessant abuse was insufficient to deprive her of her inner peace, her love of those who sronged her or her respect for her masters. By this meek and humble self-restraint she at last succeeded in overcoming the malice of her peers and her employers, to the extent that she eventually was placed in charge of the affairs of the house.
At her death on 12th April 1271, numerous miracles were wrought at her intercession, so that she came to be venerated as a saint in the Lucca neighbourhood.
One of the Incorruptibles, a name given by mediaeval Catholic clergy to the astonishingly preserved bodies of saints, martyrs and beati (the blesseds on the road to canonization), St Zita's body was rediscovered in 1580 in the Church of S. Frediano; thus was suggested the solemn approbation of her cult, which was granted by Innocent XII in 1696.
In the last 20 years, at the Vatican's request, Italian pathologists, chemists and radiologists have been poring over the bodies of men and women interred in church reliquaries long ago. They have examined more than two dozen saints and beati enlightening us as to how they were preserved. While some were mummified chemically by their followers, others were protected from decay by environmental conditions.

Address: Piazza San Frediano, Lucca

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 8, 2003
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