The Beginnings of Villa Licci

In Indiana, there are approximately 73,000 individuals living with a moderate to severe trau-matic brain injury (TBI). Prior to their TBI, these individuals led typical lives: filled with hopes and dreams, spending time with friends and family, going to school, and holding down jobs. As a result of their TBI, these individuals have lost some (or much) of their ability to function intellectually, socially, and physically which greatly diminishes the level of personal and profes-sional enjoyment they experienced before their injury. Many have lost their jobs, their friends, and sometimes even their families, as their ability to function and interact with people and the world around them has drastically changed.

Most who survived a TBI suffer from loneliness and depression. They grow a deep sense of isolation living with aging parents, on the streets, in skilled nursing facilities, or group homes that mix TBI survivors with other individuals who live with developmental disabilities, autism, or addictions. TBI survivors are not like these other individuals and are unique in that they know who they were before their injury and long for this remembered self and life. They are a distinct and not insignificant unknown segment of the population who need a community to belong to and friends to share life with. Villa Licci will provide safe and independent housing, fellowship, and educational opportunities to enhance the dignity and self-worth of these survi-vors. Research supports increasing social well-being and establishing community as means to improve the quality of life for those living with a TBI.

Seeing this great need in the local community of Indianapolis, Indiana, a group of parents and friends of those living with a TBI came together to find a solution. Villa Licci was born of this effort.
To provide safe and independent housing, fellowship, and dignity in a faith-centered environment for adult survivors of traumatic brain injuries.
A national network of residential communities that create the social fabric and fellowship necessary for each survivor to live semi-independent lives filled with hope, self-respect and purpose.
Villa Licci is:
  • A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization
  • A residential community of adults living with the challenges that follow a brain injury
  • Providing the opportunity for medically stable adults to live with minimal supervision while maintaining personal waivers and services
  • Seeking to enhance each resident’s quality of life through shared experiences and relationships
  • Designed with common areas where residents can exercise, eat, socialize, and relax together
Villa Licci is not:
  • A community for individuals who are developmentally disabled
  • A skilled nursing facility (nursing home)
  • A rehabilitation center
  • An employment residence
Named after the patron of those with head injuries,
Blessed John Licci, Villa Licci will be a residential community for those who have previously felt isolated and stuck while living with a TBI.
About our Patron
Giovanni Liccio was born in Sicily in the early 1400s. Left motherless after his mother died during his birth, his father was left to raise John on his own. One day, his father fed baby John crushed pomegranates and left him alone while he worked in the fields. Providentially, a neigh-bor woman came and took the baby home to nurse. When the good woman laid the baby down beside her paralyzed husband, he was miraculously cured of his ailment. After finding his child had been taken, John’s father came to retrieve his beloved son. Upon John leaving the house-hold, the paralysis immediately returned to the neighbor. Seeing this as a divine sign, John was left with the neighbors so that he could be cared for by them.

John became a devout child. At fifteen, a priest suggested that he enter the Dominican Order. He did so and was ordained some years later. As a priest, John became known for his good works and his miracles, especially during the construction of the convent of St. Zita. Once, a wagon full of construction materials mysteriously arrived just as funds were running out; no one knew where the goods had come from, and the driver had seemingly disappeared.
At other times, Fr. Licci’s prayers brought a boy back to life after he had fallen from a wall and subsequently died. The breadbox of a poor widow miraculously stayed full, feeding her and her six children. A thief’s hand withered when he tried to stab Fr. Licci; at the priest’s prayer, the hand was restored.

Blessed John Licci lived to be 111 – one of the oldest saints ever recorded. He was a Dominican for 96 years, the longest known time anyone has worn the religious habit. Fr. Licci died on November 14, 1511. His feast is November 14, and he is invoked against head injuries because his prayers miraculously cured three people who were living with traumatic brain injuries. We invoke Bl. John Licci to pray for the residents of Villa Licci, for all those who carry the cross of a brain injury, and for all our benefactors.