Churchgoers were left stunned after a
man tore out both his eyeballs in the middle of a priest’s sermon at
Sunday Mass in a scene that resembled a horror film.
Parishioners in Viareggio, near Pisa, in northern Italy, could only watch as one of their number calmly stood up and carried out the horrific self-mutilation in front of them.
Aldo Bianchini, 46, who was born in Britain but has lived in Italy most of his life, is believed to have suffered from voices.
He collapsed to the floor in a pool of
blood as his mother frantically tried to help him while the local priest
father Lorenzo Tanganelli rushed out to alert emergency services.
drama happened at the Sant’Andrea church and last night surgeons at the
local hospital said that after several hours surgery they had been
unable to save his sight and he would remain blind.
Doctors said that before the surgery
Bianchini had told them he had ‘heard voices’ telling him to tear out
his eyes and Dr Gino Barbacci said: ‘In all my 26 years of service I
have never seen anything like this before.
was in a great deal of agony and he was covered in blood. He said that
he had used his bare hands to gouge out his eye balls after hearing
voices telling him to do so – to do something like that requires super
tried to operate and save his sight by reinserting the eye balls in both
sockets but there was nothing we could do and he will now remain
when all of a sudden there was a great commotion.
‘This man at the back of the knave started tearing at his face and I realised he was gouging out his eyes.
called for assistance and the paramedics were quickly at the scene and
he was taken away and then I carried on celebrating Mass but a lot of
people had left because they were so shocked by what they had seen.
must have been 300 people at Mass to begin with and we were lucky that
at first one of the closest people to him was an off duty paramedic who
was the first to help him but I have never seen as much blood as I saw
In the Bible a
passage from the Gospel of St Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples: ‘If
your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.
‘It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.