The church of Santa Maria di Gesù is also known as Santa Maruzza dei Canceddi because of the canceddi (baskets) used to carry the merchandise of the members of the brotherhood which once occupied church. Built before the 15th Century and radically modified in 1660, it has a simple facade on which stands out a fine baroque entry with two graceful spiral columns and a niche above, enclosing a marble statue of Holy Mary. The wide fresco painting on the vault ceiling represents the Gabriel’s declaration to Zachary that his wife Elisabeth would have a child. On the left wall a niche encloses the Byzantine-style 15th-century fresco of the Vergine del Riparo (Virgin of Shelter). Under the church floor there are grottos used as crypts to bury the members of the fraternal order. The church owned a beautiful 17th-century wooden statue of Holy Mary of Canceddi, nowadays hosted in the near church of the Santissimi Quaranta Martiri alla Guilla. A halo of mystery surrounds the building and its neighborhood, as the grotto right behind the church is told to be the ancient meeting place of the sect of Beati Paoli, as in the famous novel of the same name by Sicilian writer Luigi Natoli.
- Open Hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM