Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Lay SaintCharity and Charismatic Authority in Medieval Italy, 1150-1350$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mary Harvey Doyno

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501740206

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501740206.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 20 September 2021

Zita of Lucca

Zita of Lucca

The Outlier

(p.163) Chapter 5 Zita of Lucca
The Lay Saint

Mary Harvey Doyno

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the cult of Zita of Lucca (d. 1278). The earliest source for the existence of Zita's cult is a miracle collection that was begun on April 28, 1278, the day after Zita's death. This same manuscript contains the earliest copy of her vita, which reports that it was the notary Fatinello di Migliore who had transcribed 150 accounts of miracles performed at Zita's tomb. While several aspects of Zita's life and early cult do not fit into the trajectory of female lay saints' cults that have been discussed in the previous chapters, they do mirror certain themes in the cults of thirteenth-century laymen. Ultimately, Zita's role as the perfect candidate came as the result of the vita's construction of her as an outlier among the general lay population, and most importantly, among pious laywomen. Thus, Zita is not simply a pious parishioner as well as an attentive and obedient worker, but a model of lay religious restraint and practicality. Zita, as the vita's author will repeatedly reiterate, knew the proper times, places, and manner for expressing her penitential commitment and zeal. In short, Zita was an anomaly, bucking all expectations about the behavior of a devout laywoman.

Keywords:   Zita of Lucca, miracle collection, female lay saints, cults, religious restraint, laywomen

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.