Churchgoers were left stunned after a man tore out both his eyeballs in the middle of a priest's sermon at Sunday Mass. 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. The drama happened at the Sant'Andrea church and 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.
'He 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 human strength. We 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 blind.' Father Tanganelli said: 'I had just started to read the sermon 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. I 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. There 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 today.'