Support our mission
 
The main altar embodies the ornate art and architecture of the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy.
The main altar embodies the ornate art and architecture of the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
The main altar embodies the ornate art and architecture of the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy.
The main altar embodies the ornate art and architecture of the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
A gold dome is at the center of the vaulted ceilings covered with religious frescoes in the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy.
A gold dome is at the center of the vaulted ceilings covered with religious frescoes in the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
The towering Spire of the Immaculate Virgin stands near the church in Gesu Nuovo Square in Naples, Italy.
The towering Spire of the Immaculate Virgin stands near the church in Gesu Nuovo Square in Naples, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
A crucifix is enshrined in an ornate wall at the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy.
A crucifix is enshrined in an ornate wall at the Church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Sunshine fills a window in one of the Church of Gesu Nuovo's front walls, adorned with paintings, sculptures, bas-reliefs and other decor.
Sunshine fills a window in one of the Church of Gesu Nuovo's front walls, adorned with paintings, sculptures, bas-reliefs and other decor. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
The altar for St. Guiseppe Moscati at the Church of Gesu Nuovo. Moscati was accomplished Neapolitan physician who treated the poor at no charge and was believed to continue healing the sick after he died in 1927. Pope John Paul canonized him in 1987.
The altar for St. Guiseppe Moscati at the Church of Gesu Nuovo. Moscati was accomplished Neapolitan physician who treated the poor at no charge and was believed to continue healing the sick after he died in 1927. Pope John Paul canonized him in 1987. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Within the church's Chapel of the Visitation are hundreds of testimonials from people claiming to have been healed by St. Guiseppe Moscati. The body parts that were healed are cast in silver on the red plaques.
Within the church's Chapel of the Visitation are hundreds of testimonials from people claiming to have been healed by St. Guiseppe Moscati. The body parts that were healed are cast in silver on the red plaques. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)

The Church of Gesu Nuovo’s austere facade, with its dark, diamond-shaped bricks, conceals an interior adorned with frescoes, ornate sculptures, vaulted ceilings and a shrine to a modern saint.

Originally built in 1470 as a royal palace for the Prince of Salerno, the church is in Gesu Nuovo Square near the Spire of the Immaculate Virgin, just outside the historic district. It is a semi-hidden treasure that’s well worth the extra effort to find.

The church was finished around 1600, and most of its art was created during the ensuing three centuries.

Religious frescoes abound. On the church’s front wall is “The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple,” a Baroque masterpiece painted by Francesco Solimena in 1725.

On the four pillars that support the ceiling dome are frescoes of the four evangelists by Giovanni Lanfranco. Inside the dome is the fresco “Life of the Virgin.” The intricate detail of these murals and others in the church is astounding.

The main altar is surrounded by three bronze bas-reliefs. Above the altar are eight busts of saints who revered the Holy Eucharist.

Gesu Nuovo features seven chapels. One is the Chapel of the Visitation, which has an altar with a bronze urn containing the remains of St. Giuseppe Moscati, a Naples doctor and biochemistry professor who died in 1927 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1987.

A bronze statue of Moscati, the first modern doctor to be sainted, stands next to the altar. His canonization miracle involved a young ironworker afflicted with leukemia. The worker’s mother dreamed of a man in a white coat, whom she identified as Moscati in a photo. Her son’s disease went into remission shortly afterward.

Many people make a pilgrimage to Moscati’s altar. Some claim to have been healed of an ailment after their visit, while others say they were healed when Moscati’s spirit came to them in a dream or vision. On the chapel’s walls are hundreds of testimonials mounted on red plaques with silver castings that represent the body parts he healed.

wyland.scott@stripes.com Twitter: @wylandstripes

Location: Address: Piazza del Gesu Nuovo 2, Naples, Italy. Street parking and a nearby parking garage are available.Times: 7 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday through SaturdayCosts: FreeFood: There are many restaurants nearby.Information: Phone: +39 081 551 8613

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up