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Blind after a car crash, he turned to Christ and became a sculptor

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ANDREA BIANCO

@andreabiancoscultore

Maria Paola Daud - published on 12/03/22

Andrea Bianco compares his accident to St. Paul’s fall to the ground on the way to Damascus.

Andrea Bianco, from northern Italy, was 21 years old in 1991. He was studying economics at the university, and he had everything: a girlfriend, some money, and a car of his own.

He led a carefree life, without big problems. He had no interest in Christ or the Church, until one day everything changed.

One afternoon, while driving home from the mountains with his girlfriend, he found himself facing a truck head-on. This forced him to turn suddenly, and he crashed into a tree.

His girlfriend wasn’t seriously injured, but Andrea wasn’t expected to survive. He spent 20 days in a coma in the hospital in the city of Verona, and had to remain in the facility for two months, undergoing 12 operations. They were able to save his life, but he was left blind.

He spoke to the Italian magazine Credere about those moments,

“A Carmelite came to visit me in the hospital. He said to me, ‘A blessing you have, you who carry the Cross!’ I didn’t understand anything, I wanted to say to him, ‘Take my cross, since you like it so much.’ I felt as if it were a provocation. But then we began to pray together and from that moment on we began a long journey together.”

Later Andrea began to pray the Rosary with his girlfriend Lara, who had been in the accident with him. They prayed for his recovery.

Step by step on the path of faith

The love between Andrea and Lara grew stronger and they decided to say “yes” for life.

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A post shared by Andrea Bianco (@andrea.bianco.scultore)

They also grew in faith, especially when they visited Medjugorje in 1998. They experienced a living Church, and the Virgin Mary felt very close to them. Andrea told Credere the message he received there: “‘Fall in love with the Sacred Heart of Jesus,’ Our Lady seemed to tell us, ‘live for the Lord, and faith will flourish again and peace will triumph.’”

Talent for art

Andrea discovered that despite his disability, he could study and learn to work with clay. He discovered he could “see” and create with his hands. “We have forgotten that hands feel, see, and perceive the greatness of the world,” he told Credere. “Like when you pray the Rosary: it is with your fingers that you follow it (…) It’s with your fingers that you feel God.”

Representing his faith with sculpture

Bianco told website Incuriosire.it that he uses various materials to create: clay, marble, wood, bronze, and on rare occasions, concrete.

His favorite material is wood, he says, because according to him it teaches you patience, humility, listening, and reflection.

His favorite works are related to faith, with a scientific and cultural character, such as the “Crucifix of the Holy Shroud” and the “Ecce Homo according to the Holy Shroud”.

The artist created these based on what he learned by listening to the descriptions given by syndonologist Emanuela Marinelli.

His crucifix made in bronze was exhibited for a time in the cathedral of Turin. Today it’s in that city’s diocesan museum.

The second sculpture is a face of Christ in clay on a marble base, currently in the Museum of the Holy Shroud at the Regina Apostolorum Institute in Rome.

It represents the face of Jesus when he was presented to the crowd and shows all the wounds that can be discovered by analyzing the Shroud.

Without a doubt Andrea Bianco is a true artist of faith who compares his experience of the car accident, which made him discover Christ again, to St. Paul’s famous fall from his horse on the way to Damascus.

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