The 45-year-old performed a striptease along the church’s aisle before lying down on the steps of the altar, in just his underpants, in a quest "to show God his natural self", the local newspaper, L’Arena reported.
A dismayed priest at San Pietro Apostolo church, in the Verona district of Borgo Tento, tried to get the man to give up his public display of “devotion to God”, a demonstration that lasted 45 minutes.
It was only after he called on the help of the police that the man relented, got dressed and left the church, just before a congregation arrived for evening mass.
“Even the police officers had difficulty stopping the 45-minute gesture,” the priest told L’Arena.
The incident happened in April 2012 but was reported on Tuesday after the man, said not to be suffering from any mental health problems, was fined €300 for public indecency.