It was built around 1631 on the site of the ancient Byzantine church of Saint Elia, demolished in 1581. In this chapel was organized the homonymous Confraternity of San Giuseppe and della Buona Morte (good death), erected canonically in 1630, when Mgr. De Rueda approved the rules. As the Confraternity remained inactive for long, the ancient small church was closed to worship to be re-opened only in 1887. In 1904 the Confraternity finally abandoned the chapel completely and moved to the former convent church of the hermit nuns of Santa Chiara. Its interior was renewed and embellished with stuccos in the 18th century.
Recent consolidation and restoration works have shown some tomb findings dating back to early Middle Ages. The bell fused by Giovan Giacomo Cuti from Gallipoli in 1635, survives on the slight little web gable, in the priory of Giovan Bernardino Genuino, author of the Cathedral’s drawings. Simple in its architectural setting, it has an interior enriched by a stone altar, chromatically exuberant if compared with the full-bodied stuccos decorating the vault. The façade is just as simple but suggestive with its beautiful central three-lobed window and the bishop’s crest mounted on the tympanum of the only entrance door.
Original text – Elio Pindinelli
English translation by Rocco Merenda