Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

April 27 | Know Yourself

Saint Zita of Lucca

A.D. 1212–1272

Both Plato and Socrates employed the phrase, “Know thyself.” It is an invitation to self-exploration. But it is often met with a vagueness that leaves people not knowing where to start or a narrowness that leaves people with a narrow sense of self. For example, it’s great to know what your strengths are, but that isn’t enough. 

Saint Zita of Lucca knew herself. So much so that even when everyone around her mocked her for her faith and constantly insulted her, she remained calm and compassionate. 

From the age of twelve onward, Zita was a servant in the Fatinelli household in Lucca. She faced constant mistreatment and misunderstanding from her employers, who thought she had a holier-than-thou attitude because she spent so much time in prayer and serving the poor. Zita knew herself too well to take their insults personally, because she knew her own motives came from loving God and neighbor. She stayed strong in her faith, and eventually she transformed the Fatinelli household, turning her detractors into admirers and leading her master to become reputed for his holiness.

Her life was marked by miracles and a deep love for the poor and the imprisoned, often giving her own food and provisions to those in need. Zita knew what she needed and didn’t need, and whatever she didn’t need, she gave away. She was intimately aware of her own dependence on God, and trusted that God would provide for her when she didn’t have enough.

Saint Zita of Lucca knew herself intimately. Do you know yourself?

Here are five specific ways to get to know yourself better:

  1. Values. What are your values? Without a clear sense of our values, our lives begin to drift.
  2. Strengths and Weaknesses. Most people are delighted to look at their strengths, but actively avoid their weaknesses. And yet, it is often our weaknesses that hold the key to our bigger and better future.
  3. Temperament and Personality. Take a personality assessment. There are many options, but you can try the Myers-Briggs test online. Are they 100% accurate? No. Are they surprisingly insightful? Yes. 
  4. Hopes and Dreams. We are driven by our dreams, consciously and unconsciously. What are your dreams? What are you doing about them? Are you pursuing them or neglecting them? Your dreams are your dreams for a reason.
  5. Motives. Observe yourself. Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Motive reveals the light and darkness of the human heart. It is one of the fastest ways to know yourself if you can be brutally honest. 

Take a cue from Saint Zita of Lucca, and begin knowing yourself better today and every day.


I will joyfully get to know myself better each day.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Domestic Servants, Homemakers, Lost Keys, People Ridiculed for their Piety, Single Laywomen, Waiters, and Waitresses

Also Known As: Sitha or Citha

Symbols: Holding a Bag

Feast Day: April 27

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Simeon

Canonized: September 5, 1696

Canonized By: Pope Innocent XI

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