Salicone was born on March 12, 1940, in Campania, Italy, fifty miles south of
Naples and entered seminary for a mission at age 12, before leaving
to become member of
Xavierian Theology in Parma for his
novitiate. Soon he was in Xaverian House in
Salerno and became vocations director. In 1975 he went to learn English in London;
then it was on to Africa (Sierra Leone) for three years after which he came to
-- for postgraduate in theology at the Catholic Theological Union (1979-1981).
that he went
back to Africa where he started teaching and then became rector at a major seminary in
Liberia for eight years (from the students there were to come four bishops and one archbishop).
In 1990 he was sent to London as rector for Xaverian missionaries studying English
1994 sent now to work in Massachusetts (Holliston), where the Xaverians have a
shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. An assistant pastor at a parish in Chicago
Chinatown for a spell, he found himself, in 2011, where is he is today: in Franklin, Wisconsin.
This is all said by way of noting credentials,
which Father Salicone has those in abundance, for he asserts the unusual: a gift
of "hearing" and healing.
Since he was a boy of ten,
Father Aniello says has heard what he calls a
"Voice" speak to him, informing him on the medical condition of people as well
as other matters.
At first he prayed over family members and those who, hearing
about him, came to seek help, until giving it up when he entered seminary.
"Tell her to go home," the voice said to him in one case, referring to a
woman who approached him. "Her brother is healed." This indeed turned out
to be the case. At times he would feel a "strength" go out of him when
a healing was occurring.
In February of 1995,
after years of silence -- of subduing it -- the gift returned to the priest in a dramatic way.
"I was going to talk to a
group of ladies and gentlemen who were members of the Xaverian League in Newton,
Massachusetts, and on my way, about 5:30 in the afternoon, while I was driving,
I heard somebody calling me very clearly in my car -- 'Son.'
"I had no idea
what it was -- somebody calling me very clearly.
"I was surprised and didn't say
anything. A few minutes later, again. 'Son.'
"The third time I said to myself I have to
answer something and see what is happening and I said, 'Yes?' and to my surprise the
same voice answered a question I had been asking in my prayers. I was
complaining that, 'Lord you made me a priest, and thank you, and a missionary, and
thank you, but as far as love, no one has ever made me their number one.'"
intoned, "Don't complain anymore. You are My number one."
"I was so happy!
Wow. I nearly stopped the car -- I was so happy and surprised," recalls
Father Anione. "And I asked if I could ask another
question, and the Lord said, 'Yes,' and I said: 'I imagine You say this to
everybody -- that they are number one.' To my surprise the voice answered, 'You
think it cannot be done and you are wrong. I love everybody as My number one and
I can do it because I am infinite. I love everyone as much as everybody needs to
A couple years later, going to Franklin, where he was directing
an "Our Lady of Hope" prayer
group, Father Aniello was asking the Lord, if He "could give me some extra
power in my hand."
The reply, claims the Italian cleric, was: "I want you to
tell people how much I love them. Tell them that I am the One who does the
miracles." And increased strength, that night, at the healing service,
Not for everyone. Not all the time. There are no guarantees in the
realm of spiritual healing. "You have to pray," says the priest, "and He will do
the miracle if He feels it is appropriate." The major message: how God loves everyone as His "number one."
"A lady asked me
whether I could pray for her daughter because
her daughter wanted a child and I prayed and I got the message, 'Yes, you
will have a baby boy,'" he recalls. "So she called her daughter but the lady
said, 'Father, it is not possible. She has a tumor in her womb.'"
Father Aniello told
don't care what your doctor told you. I repeat to you what I heard from the
Lord, namely in nine months you are going to have a baby boy,' which happened.
The mother told me what occurred. When the baby was born also the tumor
In a case that drew attention
in U.S. Marian
circles, Father Aniello heard the voice in June 2003 in relation to a woman he
knew from the Chicago area who had been given a few short months to
live due to an inoperable brain tumor and a daunting list of other problems.
She had been contemplating a pilgrimage to
"I knew her
but didn't know she was dying," he told us. "One morning I heard the voice say,
'Call her and tell her I want her to go to Medjugorje. There she will she My glory.' So I obeyed and picked up the
phone and she [her name was Colleen
Willard] was so happy to hear my voice and
she went and there she was healed."
In another case
a woman who was in line at a healing service came
up to him said, 'Father, my son is nineteen and died of cancer. My other son,
who is thirty, is now also dying from cancer.' I heard the voice say, 'Tell
her her second son will not die.'" He lived. Many miracles happen.
Approached by a deaf man in Sacramento, Father Salicone heard:
"Speak to him very softly." These are interior locutions -- but so clear
they sometimes wake the priest up. He did as instructed and when the deaf man
responded to his soft voice he realized the man
could now hear.
"Many, many, many healings happen that way," he says.
"Many healings I don't hear about or not until later. 'Jesus loves you.'
These are the healing words. "
Father ended up visiting Medjugorje himself. "I have no doubt about
it," says this intellectual mystic, who found the twenty or more confessionals there compelling.
He believes that critics of reputed apparition site fall for the main part into one of two
categories: those who don't get exactly what they were looking for when they go
they don't get it, they label it as 'no good'") and those who, in his view,
"refuse any miracle in any way.
"These are the major people who deny it. In theory they
may say they believe in miracles but in reality they do not. In Scripture you
have the Pharisees and Sadducees who for different reasons said 'no.' When God
arrives in a way [they] don't expect, they don't want to be bothered or change."
They find reason for skepticism. But, adds the priest, referring to the
perceived shortcomings, in some cases, of seers: "Because someone has visions
doesn't mean they are holy. The external gifts don't make anybody holy."
He explains that in some cases, he can feel "needles" in his hands,
indicating that a person's ailment is caused by evil spirits. It usually happens
that the person in some way opened himself up to the occult, often by way of
Ouija boards. What draws evil is a "connection" with it.
"Once you deal with the devil, even once, he
puts his mark on the people," is the way he phrases it.
"My favorite prayer is,
'Thank You Jesus for
loving me as Your number one. Please help me to make You my number One."
Consider making it one of your prayers.
Although he doesn't
focus on any gift of the prophetic, he believes, as far as those who believe
that major events loom, that
such beliefs have occurred through history and often
pertain not to the apocalypse but what will transpire during various
periods. "You can find it in any [historic] group," he believes.
"Every generation is the same -- look how Christ referred to 'this evil generation'; in Hebrew they
generalize. Don't be surprised if
"crises occur. Cultures grow and
collapse. Kingdoms come and go and so do earthquakes; it is not just something occurs to one
era." But fear not evil, he says, even when it is so flagrant, as is the
case today. "Dog barks when afraid,"
he notes of the clamor of demons. "Because God is silent tells me that He is in
control. It's the silence of the winner, not the silence of one who does not
know what to do. Don't worry. Why be worried?" Just say, "Thank You
Jesus for loving me as Your number one."