Have you ever heard of Fr. Aniello Salicone? I hadn’t until just a couple of weeks ago. An acquaintance of mine invited me to her parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Pearl City, Oahu, where Fr. Aniello was presiding over a healing Mass this past December 13th. Yes - apparently this Italian-born Xaverian Missionary priest now residing in Wisconsin, USA, is a reported healer. In addition, he allegedly receives frequent locutions (audible messages) from Jesus Christ. Very extraordinary claims... but please note that this blog in no way anticipates the judgement of the Church about Fr. Aniello. Rather, my intent here is to merely share my experience and readers may form their own opinion about this purported mystic-priest.
|Fr. Aniello Salicone of Wisconsin|
Before launching into my takeaways concerning Fr. Aniello’s message, let me just preface by sharing what happened at the event. I’ll start by stating that I’m very glad I went. I was actually tired from a long day’s work and was cringing about having to forge through the heavy evening traffic going out to the Central Oahu church where the service was being held… so I planned on just going home instead. BUT... as I was walking to the parking lot, I felt strongly “urged” to go to the event by a nagging “feeling”. The inner feeling was so persistent it was like a voice, in itself, encouraging me to make the drive; to receive Jesus in Holy Communion; and to listen to what the priest had to say. So off I went to Pearl City.
When I got to the church, it wasn’t at all crowded as I had expected it to be. In fact, the church wasn’t even full to its capacity, which I was somewhat happy about. The Mass had just started and there was Fr. Aniello sitting in a chair near the altar. He was a portly man with a paternal aura about him, who spoke with a slight accent that hinted of his Italian background. His voice was deep and had somewhat of a booming quality about it, but not in an unpleasant way. His homily consisted of various short stories about his experiences with our Lord that collectively testified to God’s immeasurable love for us. Other than the stories he shared, there was nothing about his appearance or demeanor that hinted of the alleged wonders that surrounded him. Rather, he gave me the impression that he was just a normal priest with a jolly sense of humor, who was trying his best to fulfill what he believed the Lord had asked him to do.
After the Mass ended, a short presentation followed and then the healing session began. People were invited to line up in front of the altar where Fr. Aniello softly prayed over each person, individually. Almost everyone who went up for a blessing safely fell backwards into the waiting arms of volunteers as they “rested in the Spirit”, including myself. For those who’ve never experienced resting (or being “slain”) in the Spirit, it’s a spiritual phenomenon during which an individual is overwhelmed by the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit to the point where he/she falls to the ground for a period of time in a state of heightened well-being and bliss; physical, emotional, and/or spiritual healing often occurs while an individual is in this state; or gifts of the Spirit may also be granted. For me, I recall my eyes being closed as a lay on the church floor but I had the distinct sensation of being in the presence of a brilliant light that emanated a strong heat over me, especially on my face; I likened it to sitting outside on a warm day while the sun beams down its light and warmth all over you. Definitely unusual, given the time of day and the demographics of the church… but it felt comforting and peaceful as I lay temporarily oblivious of my surroundings.
One. Help me to love you and to love others the way
you love us. Amen.