The Church of the Gesù (Italian: Chiesa del Gesù, pronounced [ˈkjeːza del dʒeˈzu]) is the mother church of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic religious order. Officially named Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina (English: Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus at the "Argentina"), its facade is "the first truly baroque façade", introducing the baroque style into architecture. The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world, especially in the Americas. Its paintings in the nave, crossing, and side chapels became models for Jesuit churches throughout Italy and Europe, as well as those of other orders.. The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome.
First conceived in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits Society of Jesus, and active during the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Catholic Counter-Reformation, the Gesù was also the home of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus until the suppression of the order in 1773. The church having been subsequently regained by the Jesuits, the adjacent palazzo is now a residence for Jesuit scholars from around the world studying at the Gregorian University in preparation for ordination to the priesthood.
|Church of the Gesù|
Italian: Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina
Church of the Gesù
|Location||Via degli Astalli, 16|
|Status||Mother church of the Society of Jesus|
|Architect(s)||Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola |
Giacomo della Porta
|Length||75 metres (246 ft)|
|Width||35 metres (115 ft)|
|Nave width||25 metres (82 ft)|
|Other dimensions||Façade direction: W|
|Number of domes||1|
Although Michelangelo, at the request of the Spanish cardinal Bartolomeo de la Cueva, offered, out of devotion, to design the church for free, the endeavor was funded by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III, the pope who had authorized the founding of the Society of Jesus. Ultimately, the main architects involved in the construction were Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, architect of the Farnese family, and Giacomo della Porta. The church was built on the same spot as the previous church Santa Maria della Strada, where Saint Ignatius of Loyola had once prayed before an image of the Holy Virgin. This image, now adorned with gems, can be seen in the church in the chapel of Ignatius on the right side of the altar.
Construction of the church began on 26 June 1568 to Vignola's design. Vignola was assisted by the Jesuit Giovanni Tristano, who took over from Vignola in 1571. When he died in 1575 he was succeeded by the Jesuit architect Giovanni de Rosis. Giacomo della Porta was involved in the construction of the cross-vault, dome, and the apse.
The revision of Vignola's façade design by della Porta has offered architectural historians opportunities for a close comparison between Vignola's balanced composition in three superimposed planes and Della Porta's dynamically fused tension bound by its strong vertical elements, contrasts that have sharpened architectural historians' perceptions for the last century (Whitman 1970:108). Vignola's rejected design remained readily available to architects and prospective patrons in an engraving of 1573.
The design of this church has set a pattern for Jesuit churches that lasted into the twentieth century; its innovations require enumerating. Aesthetics across the Catholic Church as a whole were strongly influenced by the Council of Trent. Although the Council itself said little about church architecture, its suggestion of simplification prompted Charles Borromeo to reform ecclesiastical building practise. Evidence of attention to his writings can be found at the Gesù. There is no narthex in which to linger: the visitor is projected immediately into the body of the church, a single nave without aisles, so that the congregation is assembled and attention is focused on the high altar. In place of aisles there are a series of identical interconnecting chapels behind arched openings, to which entrance is controlled by decorative balustrades with gates. Transepts are reduced to stubs that emphasize the altars of their end walls.
The plan synthesizes the central planning of the High Renaissance, expressed by the grand scale of the dome and the prominent piers of the crossing, with the extended nave that had been characteristic of the preaching churches, a type of church established by Franciscans and Dominicans since the thirteenth century. Everywhere inlaid polychrome marble revestments are relieved by gilding, frescoed barrel vaults enrich the ceiling and rhetorical white stucco and marble sculptures break out of their tectonic framing. The example of the Gesù did not completely eliminate the traditional basilica church with aisles, but after its example was set, experiments in Baroque church floor plans, oval or Greek cross, were largely confined to smaller churches and chapels.
The façade of the church is divided into two sections. The lower section is divided by six pairs of pilasters with Corinthian capitals, while the upper section is divided with four pairs of pilasters. The upper section is joined to the lower section by a volute on each side. The main door stands under a curvilinear tympanum, while the two side doors are under a triangular tympanum. Above the main door one can see a shield with the letters IHS representing the Christogram. The façade also shows the papal coat of arms and a shield with the initialism SPQR, tying this church closely to the people of Rome.
The first high altar is believed to have been designed by Giacomo della Porta. It was removed during the renovations in the 19th century and its tabernacle was subsequently purchased by archbishop Patrick Leahy for his new cathedral where it was installed after some minor modifications.
The present high altar, designed by Antonio Sarti (1797–1880), was constructed towards the middle of the 19th century. It is dominated by four columns under a neo-classical pediment. Sarti also covered the apse with marble and made the drawings of the tabernacle. The angels surrounding the IHS aureole were sculpted by Rinaldo Rinaldi (1793–1873). The two angels kneeling at each side of the aureole are the work of Francesco Benaglia and Filippo Gnaccarini (1804–1875). The altarpiece, representing the "Circumcision", was painted by Alessandro Capalti (1810–1868). The ceiling of the apse is adorned by the painting "Glory of the Mystical Lamb" by Baciccia (Giovanni Battista Gaulli).
The most striking feature of the interior decoration is the ceiling fresco, the grandiose Triumph of the Name of Jesus by Giovanni Battista Gaulli. Gaulli also frescoed the cupola, including lantern and pendentives, central vault, window recesses, and transepts' ceilings.
The first chapel to the right of the nave is the Cappella di Sant'Andrea, so named because the church previously on the site, which had to be demolished to make way for the Jesuit church, was dedicated to St. Andrew. All the painted works were completed by the Florentine Agostino Ciampelli. The frescoes on the arches depict the male martyrs saints Pancrazio, Celso, Vito, and Agapito, while the pilasters depict the female martyred saints Cristina, Margherita, Anastasia, Cecilia, Lucy, and Agatha. The ceiling is frescoed with the Glory of the Virgin surrounded by martyred saints Clemente, Ignazio di Antiochia, Cipriano, and Policarpo. The lunettes are frescoed with Saints Agnes & Lucy face the storm and St. Stephen and the Deacon St. Lawrence. The altarpiece depicts the Martyrdom of St Andrew.
The second chapel to the right is the Cappella della Passione, with lunette frescoes depicting scenes of the Passion: Jesus in Gethsemane, Kiss of Judas, and six canvases on the pilasters: Christ at the column Christ before the guards, Christ before Herod, Ecce Homo, Exit to Calvary, and Crucifixion. The altarpiece of the Madonna with child and beatified Jesuits replaces the original altarpiece by Scipione Pulzone. The program of paintings is indebted to Giuseppe Valeriani and painted by Gaspare Celio. The altar has a bronze urn with the remains of 18th century Jesuit St. Giuseppe Pignatelli, canonized by Pius XII in 1954. Medals on the wall commemorate P. Jan Roothaan (1785–1853) and P. Pedro Arrupe (1907–1991), the 21st and 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
The third chapel to the right is the Cappella degli Angeli, which has a ceiling fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin and the altarpiece of Angels worshiping the Trinity by Federico Zuccari. He also painted the canvases on the walls, Defeat of the rebel angels on right, and Angels liberate souls from Purgatory on the left. Other frescoes represent Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. The angles in the niches of the pilasters were completed by both Silla Longhi and Flaminio Vacca.
The larger Saint Francis Xavier Chapel, in the right transept, was designed by Pietro da Cortona, originally commissioned by Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Negroni. The polychromatic marbles enclose a stucco relief representing Francis Xavier welcomed to heaven by angels. The altarpiece shows the Death of Francis Xavier in Shangchuan Island by Carlo Maratta. The arches are decorated with scenes from the life of the saint, including Apotheosis of the saint in the center, Crucifixion, Saint lost at sea, and at left, Baptism of an Indian princess, by Giovanni Andrea Carlone. The silver reliquary conserves part of the saint's right arm (by which he baptized 300,000 people), his other remains are interred in the Jesuit church in Goa.
The last chapel on the far end of the nave, to the right of the high altar, is the chapel of the Sacro Cuore (holy heart of Jesus).
The first chapel to the left, originally dedicated to the apostles, is now the Cappella di San Francesco Borgia, the former Spanish Duke of Gandia, who renounced his title to enter the Jesuit order, and become its third "Preposito generale". The altarpiece, Saint Francesco Borgia in Prayer by Pozzo, is surrounded by works by Gagliardi. Ceiling frescoes of (Pentecost) and lunettes (left Martyrdom of St. Peter, to sides Faith and Hope, and right Martyrdom of St. Paul) with allegorical Religion and Charity are works of Nicolò Circignani (Il Pomarancio). Pier Francesco Mola painted the walls, on left with St. Peter in jail baptizes saints Processo & Martiniano, to right is the Conversion of St. Paul. There are four monuments by Marchesi Ferrari.
The second chapel on the left is dedicated to the Nativity and called Cappella della Sacra Famiglia, commissioned by patron Cardinal Cerri who worked for the Barberini family. The altarpiece of the nativity is by Circignani. In the roof, the Celestial celebration on the nativity of Christ, on the pinnacles are David, Isaiah, Zechariah and Baruch, on the right lunette an Annunciation to the Shepherds, and on the left a Massacre of the Innocents. Also are frescoes on Presentation of Jesus to the Temple and Adoration by Magi. Four allegorical statues represent Temperance, Prudence on right; and Fortitude and Justice.
The third chapel to the left is the Cappella della Santissima Trinità, commissioned initially by the clerical patron Pirro Taro, named due to the main altarpiece by Francesco Bassano the Younger. The frescoes were completed mainly by three painters and assistants during 1588–1589; the exact attributions are uncertain, but it is said the Creation, the angels on the pilasters, and the designs of some of the frescoes are by the Florentine Jesuit painter, Giovanni Battista Fiammeri. Painted with assistants was the Baptism of Christ on the right wall. The Transfiguration on the left wall and the Abraham with three angels on the right oval were by Durante Alberti. God the Father behind a chorus of angels in the left oval and in the pinnacles angels with God’s attributes were completed by Ventura Salimbeni. The reliquary on the altar holds the right arm of the polish Jesuit St. Andrew Bobola, martyred in 1657 and canonized by Pius XI in 1938.
The imposing and luxurious St. Ignatius Chapel with the saint's tomb is located on the left side of the transept and is the church's masterpiece, designed by Andrea Pozzo between 1696 and 1700. The altar by Pozzo shows the Trinity on top of a globe. The lapis lazuli, representing the Earth, was thought to be the largest piece in the world but is actually mortar decorated with lapis lazuli. The four lapis lazuli-veneered columns enclose the colossal statue of the saint by Pierre Legros. The latter is a copy, probably by Adamo Tadolini working in the studio of Antonio Canova. Pope Pius VI had the original silver statue melted down, ostensibly to pay the war reparations to Napoleon, as established by the Treaty of Tolentino, 1797.
Originally the project was designed by Giacomo della Porta, then by Cortona; but ultimately Pozzo won a public contest to design the altar. A canvas of the Saint receives the monogram with the name of Jesus from the celestial resurrected Christ attributed to Pozzo. The urn of St. Ignatius is a bronze urn by Algardi that holds the body of the saint; below are two groups of statues where Religion defeats heresy by Legros (with a putto – on the left side – tearing pages from heretical books by Luther, Calvin and Zwingli), and Faith defeats idolatry by Jean-Baptiste Théodon.
The St. Ignatius Chapel also hosts the restored macchina barocca or conversion machine of Andrea Pozzo. During daytime the statue of St. Ignatius is hidden behind a large painting, but every day at 17.30 loud religious music is played and the painting slides away in the floor, revealing the statue, with large spotlights switched on to show the piece.
The last chapel on the far end of the nave, to the left of the high altar, is the Chapel of the Madonna della Strada. The name derives from a medieval icon, once found in a now-lost Church in the piazza Altieri, venerated by Saint Ignatius. The interior is designed and decorated by Giuseppe Valeriani, who painted scenes from the life of the Virgin. The cupola frescoes were painted by G.P. Pozzi.
The pipe organ was built by the Italian firm, Tamburini. It is a large, three manual instrument with 5 divisions (pedal, choir, great, swell, and antiphonal). The swell and choir are enclosed. The pipes are split into three separate locations within the church. Two ornamented facades flank the transept walls (Swell and Great on the left and Choir and Pedal on the right) and a small antiphonal division is located above the liturgical west entrance.
The Church of the Gesù was the model of numerous churches of the Society of Jesus throughout the world, starting from the Church of St. Michael in Munich (1583–1597), the Corpus Christi Church in Niasviž (1587–1593), the Cathedral of Córdoba (Argentina) (1582-1787) as well as the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Buenos Aires (1710–1722), the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Tbilisi (1870-1877), and the Church of the Gesù in Philadelphia (1879-1888). Various parishes also share the name of the Church of the Gesù in Rome.
|Pozzo's Saint Ignatius Chapel in the church Il Gesù, 1695 (Rome), Smarthistory|
|Il Gesù, Rome, Smarthistory|
Saint Andrew Bobola, S.J. (Polish: Andrzej Bobola, 1591 – 16 May 1657) was a Polish missionary and martyr of the Society of Jesus, known as the Apostle of Lithuania and the "hunter of souls". He was tortured to death during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. He was canonized in 1938 by Pope Pius XI.Ateneo de Manila University Dormitory
The Ateneo de Manila University Dormitory is a twin-building, on-campus dormitory for college students of the Ateneo de Manila University. Built in 2008, the Dormitory buildings stand seven stories high, and can accommodate over 600 students. It is located behind the Church of the Gesù, and overlooks the scenic Marikina Valley.Church of Gesù, Ferrara
The Church of the Gesù of Ferrara is a Roman Catholic church, erected by the Jesuit order, located on piazzetta Torquato Tasso in Via Borgoleoni #56 in Ferrara, Region of Emilia-Romagna, ItalyChurch of Gesù, Mirandola
The Church of the Gesù is a Baroque style, Roman Catholic temple on via Montanari, in the town of Mirandola, Province of Modena, Region of Emilia Romagna, Italy.Church of Gesù, Nice
Church of the Gesù, Nice also known as The Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur of Nice (French: église du Gesù or French: L’église Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur) is a Roman Catholic church located on Rue Droite in the old town of Nice in the south of France. It is in the Baroque architectural tradition. The church became a parish in 1802 under the patronage of Jacques le Majeur.Church of the Gesu (disambiguation)
The Church of the Gesu is the mother church of the Society of Jesus in Rome.
Church of the Gesu may also refer to:
Church of the Gesù, Ferrara in the province of Ferrara, Italy
Church of the Gesù, Frascati in the province of Rome, Italy
Church of the Gesù, Mirandola in the province of Modena, Italy
Church of the Gesù, Palermo in Italy
Church of the Gesù, Nice in France
Church of the Gesù (Philippines) of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City
Church of the Gesu (Philadelphia) belonging to Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, in Pennsylvania, United States
Église du Gesù (Montreal) in CanadaChurch of the Gesù, Castellammare di Stabia
The Chiesa del Gesù (Church of the Jesus) is a baroque-style, Roman Catholic church located on Strada Gesù #11 in Castellammare di Stabia, in the metropolitan city of Naples, region of Campania, Italy.Church of the Gesù, Frascati
Church of the Gesù is a Roman Catholic church in Frascati, in the province of Rome, in Italy.
The church was originally built in 1520. In 1554, the city began the construction of the present church, but did not complete it. In 1560, the Jesuits took possession of the site and completed it by 1597, calling it the church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary. In 1694 the Jesuits decided to expand the church and completed the new church by 1700.
The 18th century Blessed Antonio Baldinucci developed a particular devotion to the Refugium Peccatorum (Refuge of Sinners) image of Virgin Mary in the church, which has been considered miraculous. The Jesuits spread copies of the image to Mexico by the 19th century and it began to be depicted in missions there.Saint Vincent Mary Pallotti celebrated his first Mass here.Church of the Gesù, Montepulciano
The church of the Gesù, also known as the Parish church of the Santissimo Nome di Gesù is a Baroque style, Roman Catholic church located on Via di Voltaio #101 in central Montepulciano, region of Tuscany, Italy.Church of the Gesù, Palermo
The Church of the Gesù (chiesa del Gesù), Church of Saint Mary of Gesu (chiesa di Santa Maria di Gesù) or Casa Professa is one of the most important Baroque churches in the Italian city of Palermo and in all of Sicily.Church of the Gesù (Montreal)
The Church of the Gesù (French: Église du Gesù) is a Roman Catholic Church in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is located at 1202 Bleury Street in the borough of Ville-Marie. It was adjacent to the Collège Sainte-Marie.Church of the Gesù (Philippines)
The Church of the Gesù is the Roman Catholic church of the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City in the Philippines. The landmark was designed by Jose Pedro Recio and Carmelo Casas. The edifice’s massive triangular structure symbolizes the Holy Trinity, as well as the three-fold mission and vision of the school. Its shape and design are also meant to suggest the outstretched arms of the Sacred Heart, and the traditional Filipino bahay kubo (nipa hut). The site has a total area of 10,200 square metres (110,000 sq ft) and seating capacity for 1,000 persons. The church is situated on Sacred Heart Hill, a small hill overlooking Bellarmine Field, believed to be the highest point in Loyola Heights. In its immediate vicinity are the dormitories (Cervini and Eliazo Halls) and the John Pollock Renewal Center. The peak cross and carillon (see below) of the church can be seen from Katipunan Avenue, which borders the campus to the west.
One side of the church houses a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, patroness of Ateneo de Manila and of the Philippines, while another side chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion committed to the Jesuits by Jesus's appearances to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque at a convent in Paray-le-Monial in 1671.
In front of the church is a Sacred Heart statue depicting Jesus with welcoming, outstretched arms. At the base of the statue is an inscription from Matthew 11:28: "Come to me all of you who are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and gentle of heart, thus you will find refreshment for your souls. My yoke is sweet and my burden light." The small field to the north of the church has a statue depicting the Agony in the Garden.Gesu Church
Gesu Church ("Gesu" means "Jesus") is a name used for churches by the Jesuit Order. It may refer to an English translation of any of the churches at Church of the Gesu (disambiguation), most notably the Church of the Gesù, in Rome, the baroque mother church of the Jesuit Order.
Actual English names include:
Gesu Church (Miami, Florida), listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Gesu Church (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Milwaukee County, WisconsinGiacomo Barozzi da Vignola
Giacomo (or Jacopo) Barozzi (or Barocchio) da Vignola (often simply called Vignola) (1 October 1507 – 7 July 1573) was one of the great Italian architects of 16th century Mannerism. His two great masterpieces are the Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the Jesuits' Church of the Gesù in Rome. The three architects who spread the Italian Renaissance style throughout Western Europe are Vignola, Serlio and Palladio.Giovanni Battista Fiammeri
Giovanni Battista Fiammeri (c. 1530 – 1606) was an Italian painter and Jesuit priest, active in Florence.
He oversaw part of the decoration of the Church of the Gesù in Rome.Giovanni Battista Gaulli
Giovanni Battista Gaulli (8 May 1639 – 2 April 1709), also known as Baciccio or Baciccia (Genoese nicknames for Giovanni Battista), was an Italian artist working in the High Baroque and early Rococo periods. He is best known for his grand illusionistic vault frescos in the Church of the Gesù in Rome, Italy. His work was influenced by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.Joseph Pignatelli
Saint Joseph Mary Pignatelli, S.J. (Spanish: José María Pignatelli) (1737 - 1811), was a Spanish priest who was the unofficial leader of the Jesuits in exile in Sardinia, after the suppression of the Society of Jesus. Supervising its restoration, he is considered its second founder.Madonna Della Strada
Madonna Della Strada or Santa Maria Della Strada — the Italian for Our Lady of the Wayside, or Our Lady of the Good Road — is the name of an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, enshrined at the Church of the Gesù in Rome, mother church of the Society of Jesus religious order of the Roman Catholic Church and is a variation on the Eastern basilissa (imperial) type of icon.The Madonna Della Strada is the patroness of the Society of Jesus. Its founder, Ignatius of Loyola, was said to have been protected by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary during battle in his service as a soldier.Palazzo Altieri
Palazzo Altieri is a palace in Rome, which was the home of the Altieri family in the city. The palace faces the square in front of the Church of the Gesù.
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