FATHER MICHELE BIANCO
FATHER MICHELE BIANCO
SANCTUARY OF SAINT CYRIACUS - TORRE LE NOCELLE (Italy)
Father Michele Bianco, charismatic, exorcist
by Christian Parmantier Stella Maris n. 437 et 438 www.parvis.ch (translated from French)
During a tour in Italy in October 2005, Father Michele Bianco, parish priest of the sanctuary Saint-Cyriacus in Torre Le Nocelle, a small city in the province of Avellino (South Italy), agreed to meet us for the readers of "Stella Maris". We met him and could understand the nature of his charisma.
Since 1994, he has carried on a charismatic ministry of prayer of praise to the Lord, a ministry of intercession for the healing of physical, psychological and malignant diseases from Jesus.
Don Michele Bianco is also a highly literate person. He is at ease with Greek and Latin writers from Antiquity. He is also passionate about studies. He is particularly interested in history and philosophy and he collaborates in bioethical, social ethical and moral philosophical issues at the Bari University. He also gives lectures.
He published a few books while trying to put his intellectual capacities to the service of faith and especially of prayer.
Father Michele, who are you?
I am a priest from the Benevento diocese. I was born in a modest and religious family, in Baselice, a small village of the Benevento province (a few kilometres from Pietrelcina, where Padre Pio was born). I am the fifth of six children. I have always been on good terms with my family. Dad died in 1996, my mother is still alive. I had a normal upbringing in faith: I was a member of the parish, became an altar boy and entered the seminar.
Did you hear the call to become a priest very early?
Yes, as a child I always heard this call from the Lord in my soul and I had the desire to serve. I did what I could to deeper my studies to know more about the truth and Jesus.
I had the opportunity to study at the Gregorian and to pass my bachelor’s degree. Then I specialised in Christology. At the State University, I studied classical literature. This was in order to dedicate myself to increase the cultural aspect of the faith and to reach the truth.
In 1991, I was ordained a priest.
It is also at the Gregorian that I joined the charismatic movement, guided by priests who encouraged me to discover this spirituality. I also met some pentecotist communities, to learn about their way of praying. But it is the meeting with Father Dario Betauncourt that has been fundamental because he made me understand in 1994 that I had to put at the service of the faith and of the Church the charismas that the Lord put into my hands and in my heart in spite of my unworthiness.
The first meeting with the mystery occurred in 1991, when I was recently appointed parish priest of this country of Torre Le Nocelle. They still followed the ancient dedication to Saint Cyriac here. Indeed, in my book, I showed the testimony that certifies that there already were exorcisms in 1700. People came from all over the Italian kingdom, from the Naples kingdom and from the two Sicilies. The whole peninsula came for the prayer of liberation from the obscure power of evil.
Then, more out of curiosity, there were requests for exorcism. When I arrived there, I was immediately involved in this ministry, new to me. The first case: A Piedmontese girl had ground levity when I blessed her; her body rose, she broke the crucifix with her eyes and it was spread in the whole church. She began to speak in Hebrew and in an unknown language. This made me realize that the power of faith and the power of the prayer could rescue her.
From then on, I started to be known as an efficient exorcist at the beginning of my sacerdotal ministry! People started to arrive from everywhere and the problems with the bishops from the region began! They regarded this phenomenon with scepticism. When my new bishop, Mgr Serafino Sprovieri, arrived in 1992, he verbally authorized me to make exorcisms for many years. On 29 September 2004 he gave me the official mandate of exorcist of the diocese.
The drama of the suffering through diabolic possession is a great mystery which continues. And every Friday, I exorcise people from all over Italy…, and who also some recommended by Father Gabriel Amorth, the well-known exorcist.
The practice of exorcism, together with prayer of praise for the intercession for physical healing, has, as from 1994 until now, accompanied this ministry which sees a flow of thousands of people arriving.
Twice a year, I celebrate in a stadium or sport halls. There were up to 8.000 to 10.000 people participating in these meetings.
Every Saturday, here, I celebrate the holy Mass with prayers of intercession. Every time, more than a thousand people participate in the holy Mass with prayers of intercession here.
Every time, more than a thousand people participate in these meetings that take place in the church and in the oratory, which is located a few meters from the church, thanks to big screen that connects us and makes it possible for people to see on line what is happening in the church.
Spiritual healings are very numerous. Couples find unity again, couples start to live together again, conversions, people who approach the sacrament of confession after 20 or 30 years. The joy of discovering the gift of forgiveness, through the reconciliation... These are the miracles that can be seen every day.
But there are also physical healings certified by medical documentation. The most important thing is to come back transfigured from these meetings.
So, there are different types of healing, as attested in the book «Guariscimi Gesù» (Heal me Jesus) by the journalist Enzo Di Frenna who collected testimonies. Many were documented scientifically, which confirms and proves the authenticity of what was said and proclaimed. There are also references of doctors. For example, Maria Fiore saw the disappearance of a carcinoma of the 4th stage, which is the terminal stage. John Paul II met her because her case arrived to the notice of the Vatican. Maria Fiore declares in this document which is a certificate left at the Gemelli Polyclinic, that the tumour completely disappeared after praying in this sanctuary.
She gave her testimony to Enzo di Frenna: «A year ago, they diagnosed a tumor in the abdomen at the 4th stage and a carcinoma in the left breast. A disastrous situation — as if the world fell on me —, which made me depressed. A friend of mine, Maria D’Onofrio, led me to Father Michele. He placed his hands on my head and blessed me. Then he gave me a photograph of the servant of God Palatucci and recommended me to pray a lot. Six months later, I was completely healed. Doctors could not believe how this could happen. They admit that this is a miracle. The news of my healing was published in the newspapers. I thank Father Michele and my guardian angel!». As everybody knows, miracles come from the Lord. We limit ourselves to asking Him, quite conscious that the «Acts of the Apostles» are a current, living and perennial page. Great faith is needed on the part of the priest, his collaborators and the whole praying community to become intercessors to the Lord. Jesus thanks them, mainly if there is a living and deep faith in the heart of praying people.
How are these meetings held?
There is a welcome. We greet one another in the name of the Lord Jesus; we give each other the kiss of peace that Paul of Tarsus recommended to the first communities he evangelised. And then, «ad lucem per crucem», through the drama of the cross, it is about renouncing one's ego, renouncing sin and, «Ad crucem per lucem», in the opposite way, to be born again in Jesus-Christ by going to the light of grace. There is first the drama of the cross, then the dazzling of the light. Then, in this way of conversion, the sinner confronts himself with the cross of Christ; he must physically suffer the offence caused to Jesus through repentance, and then comes the joy to be able to remain on the Thabor. Thus, first the experience of Golgotha, then the one of the Thabor, which is very enriching and very strong.
All that comes from the extraordinary teaching of Mary. Mary is the first charismatic. Mary at the bottom of the cross near John represents the Church. Really, the Holy Spirit came on Mary and on John by flowing out the open side of Jesus. In the Gospel, when John says: «He delivered the Spirit», the Holy Spirit came on John and Mary who represent the Church. By doing so, Mary became the first charismatic of the history of the Church and of our faith.
Father Michele, what do you feel during the practice of your charisma?
During the practice of the healing, liberation and praising charisma, I first and mainly feel the strong presence of the Lord inside me. Then I feel in a clear, distinct and precise way, the sick person on whom the Lord intervenes, without however seeing his/her face or his/her personal life. Sometimes, I notice that a person is obnubilated...
Before the beginning of your sacerdotal ministry, did you already have charismatic gifts?
And how did this all start? Which was the first event? What enabled you to discover your charisma?
These charismas appeared when I started saying the prayer of exorcist liberation. It can even happen that among people accompanying the possessed person, there are some who have various pathologies; for instance cephalgias.
Did the first case happen that way?
The first case was an exorcism with this girl of Piedmont... And successively, among the accompanying people who also asked for the blessing, we noticed that the headaches disappeared, of cephalgias type. If their back was hurting or if they had difficulty moving, they felt better...They then asked me whether I had some fluid in my hands or if it was a therapeutic action. I said no, that these healings occurred quite simply. As they were not able to explain that, they began themselves to say to me: why wouldn’t you attend a charismatic assembly and wouldn’t you verify if the Lord really gave you these charismas? After the bachelor’s degree, during the time I specialized at the Gregorian and at the State University, in 1994, a charismatic prayer group in Naples came to ask me to celebrate a Mass of praise and to make a prayer of healing. And during the celebration of this Mass, for the first time, the Lord made me see distinctly and feel in my heart the brothers and sisters He touched in the assembly. I perceived and felt in my heart that the Lord touched the head of a child who started to feel better; that the spinal column of a woman was straightened; that He helped a couple to reconcile. And the following week, those people testified that what I had said had been verified. In 1995, I met Padre Dario Betauncourt who took me by the hand and literally said to me: «Courage, courage, don’t be afraid. Put this great gift that the Lord put in your hands and in your heart to the service of the Church. You will have to suffer and fight a lot. And even if in the beginning you encounter some difficulties with the bishops, the Church will support you progressively». In fact, at the time when these charismas emerged, a new bishop arrived at Benevento. Not only did he never put any obstacles in the way, but twice he sent me apostolic visitors in charge of verifying my ministry. And in the relations established, all the positive things I told them were recorded. In 1996, the bishop authorized the prayer of physical and spiritual healing and mainly of praise to the Lord which can be verified at the sanctuary. Before the celebration of the Mass, two good hours of worship are offered, with an analysis of the Word of God and the situation of the sin. What leads the sinner to quasi touching with the hand what is the sin.
Do you make the same intervention each time?
I trust myself to the Holy Spirit. I believe that this is also a great sign because, by comparing the recordings which are carried out, I never said the same thing with equivalent concepts and without giving the same values. What is important is the logical composition: to place ourselves under the cross of Jesus, to revive all the drama of the Passion, with the scourging, the crowning of thorns, the condemnation by Pilate, the crucifixion... To adore the holy wounds of Jesus and make people cry and pray, so that they feel in their heart the brutality of the sin and find the will to convert and change their life.
Can you expand?
In the spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius of Loyola advises to represent the place, to revive all the Passion of Christ. He says it simply to stimulate the priest. We perceived this empathy: to put ourselves in syntony with the event of the reality of Christ. Saint Ignatius, in his time, invited to live the reality of the presence of Christ, of course, without the categories of the deep knowledge of man, of anthropology. It is clear that the disciplines of psychology, anthropology and sociology help a lot. Therefore, this intuition of Saint Ignatius is for me wonderful, like the fact that men were created for praising. Man is spiritually worth in insofar he praises. And Saint Augustine says: man is worthy in so far as he prays. The logical composition becomes for me fundamental. To pray by the wounds of the right hand and the left hand, by the crown of thorns, by the blood which covers the face of Christ, the silence in a terrible suffering... To make these images live during the worship, pushes the penitent to the compunction of the heart. The ones who believe that Jesus is Lord, say the Acts, will be saved. And Paul adds that we have to succeed in crying tears of blood. This is to put ourselves in syntony with the suffering of the crucified raised again.
A traditional worship doesn’t allow us to live what Saint Paul calls “sympatheia”, i.e. to suffer with the one who suffers and to be delighted with the one who is joyful.
There is the moment when the believer faces himself and confronts himself with the mystery of the cross and the suffering. This must lead to repentance. From this repentance, new life can be born. And the joy of new life becomes an exultation, the soft euphoria of the Holy Spirit, says Saint Paul, when the Holy Spirit descends and transforms the heart and makes us become happy, joyful and delighted, like the apostles experienced on the morning of Pentecost. To be delighted by the motion of the Holy Spirit can only lead to the joy and to share it, mainly with the brother or sister who suffers and who didn’t experience yet the joyful love of God.
Therefore, in this way I reintroduced this intuition of Saint Ignatius, (it is only one line in the spiritual Exercises), to give form to the drama of the Passion. The fact of representing visually the facts of the passion obviously gives exceptional results, especially with the sacrament of reconciliation. Many people feel the need to confess. Many felt the invitation to convert inside them, like the listeners to the first speech of Peter at Pentecost.
You preach a contemplation of the Passion of Jesus?
Exactly. We relive it from the agony in the garden of Olives until the Passion, with the overflowing of blood, water and Spirit, where the Gospel of John says that Jesus delivered the Holy Spirit, on Mary and John, first small Pentecostal overflowing .
You thus insist on this aspect of the suffering of Jesus to touch hearts?
I believe that the catholic charismatic revival must be distinguished from the charismatic revival precisely by the cross. If we remove the mystery of the cross and the saving power of the cross, we don’t distinguish Roman Catholicism from Pentecostal Protestantism anymore. So to confront ourselves with the mystery of Christ and to put our problems in the dimension of the cross of Christ and live the cross of Good Friday as a moment of suffering and victory, I believe that it is fundamental. It seems to me that the Revival would have to reappropriate this extraordinary dimension. In the same way, it would also have to reappropriate Mary who was sent on mission. Let us withdraw the cross, withdraw Mary and we are Protestants. We are well on the way towards Protestantism, and we don’t realize that the revival can really recover this event of Christianity and the Roman apostolicity through the cross and the mystery of Mary. Two realities which should lead to the Revival to the Holy Spirit.
Today, when we speak about the cross, many stress the dimension of forgiveness and mercy
Forgiveness and mercy are also related to the cross. But Zachariah says to us: «They will look at the one they have transpierced»! and John refers to this assertion. The dimension of the Crucified raised is fundamental. It is Jesus who heals through His Passion and His death. The concept of expiation is fundamental. Expiation is the change of the fault, the total radiation of the sin. In 2 Corinthians, the cursed person becomes curse with the eyes of the Father to remove us the faults and the sins. Therefore, this moment, the greatest of the human drama of Christ, of the «ego» of Christ, has to be considered precisely in the dimension of the ego of the man, doubling it almost and removing him from the dimension of the God-man, because it is really the God-man who suffers. But in his totality of suffering, this man became the price of the repurchase. It is precisely at this time of psycho-physical collapsing, of total prostration of Christ, which results in the overflowing of water and blood, that Christ is reduced to being the Lamb of immolated God. By inviting us to a radical conversion, He doesn’t want to strike us in-depth. We cannot liquidate with light an event which is tragic, upsetting, but which brings back peace to humanity.