Hospital of “Santa Maria Nuova”

(14th century)

via Borgovico, 6

Suga family established the hospital during the 14th century to face the needs of the poor and of those who went on pilgrimage to Rome, but in 1452 its patronage passed to Meda family who, in 1556, donated it to the Maranesis. Despite being incorporated with the hospitale novum (the hospital of St. Anne) ever since 1468, the patrons managed it autonomously until 1596. After the suppression of the church at the end of the 18th century, the buildings of the ancient hospice were rent out to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who had been looking after deaf-mute and blind young ladies since 1875 and took part in charitable initiatives sponsored by the city parishes.

What documents tell us…

From a declaration made by the patron and the minister of Santa Maria Nuova, Gerolamo Suga, 1442

Here below you can find the expenses that are being held by the hospital:

* first of all, at least eight poor people, both male and female, are living at the hospital;

* on the ground floor, there is even a room assigned to pilgrims; 

* moreover the hospital incurs great expenses in order to maintain beds, mattresses, sheets and pallets for the poor as well as for the pilgrims and even for those among them who die in the hospital; 

* you have also to consider that at the beginning of the current management the hospital was in ruin as wars, in the previous years, had caused the loss of tools and beds: the hospital building is now being renovated and a conspicuous number of necessary items have been bought by the ministers in the last twenty-six years; 

* during the same period the ministers have also provided a goblet and a missal and moreover, ten florins are yearly spent on religious services celebrated in the church and to buy wax and oil for enlightenment; 

* moreover, there are even the expenses for the sustenance of the minister and his wife and for the sole servant taking care of poor people and pilgrims; 

* lastly, six florins are annually spent to repair, prune and organize the vineyard, as well as other four for the maintenance of the hospital premises

From the report about the parish of St. George written on occasion of Bishop Gian Battista Mugiasca’s pastoral visitation, 1778

Santa Maria Nuova Church has the burden of distributing bread to the needy for an amounting value of eighteen imperial lire – what is being accomplished by Maranesi patrons.



Main photo. Painter of Como, St. Roch making for a Town as a Pilgrim, 17th century (Como, St. Provinus’church)

Below.  Lombard painter, Visiting the Sick, 15th century (Mandello del Lario, St. George’s church)