Sister Cristina rocks the house with Mariah Carey’s “Hero”

She performed again a few days ago on Italy’s “The Voice.”

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As one of the judges noted, the song was a good choice for the singing nun, because it was about salvation.

The lyrics:

There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away

[Chorus:]
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

It’s a long road
When you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And the emptiness you felt
Will disappear

[Chorus]

Lord knows
Dreams are hard to follow
But don’t let anyone
Tear them away
Hold on
There will be tomorrow
In time
You’ll find the way

Meantime, even The New York Times has taken notice:

What once was nothing more than a singing show with mediocre ratings has become a TV phenomenon in Italy, with no shortage of potential story lines: Will Sister Cristina survive until the final round in early June? Will she convert her singing coach — the Italian rapper J-Ax — to Catholicism? And why has her appearance stirred such a huge reaction in Italy and beyond?

“My dream was to be a singer,” Sister Cristina told ANSA, the state news agency, in her only interview. “The Lord has made use of my wish to call me to him, and is taking me to realize my dream in a way that I could have never imagined.”

To some observers, the success of Sister Cristina is another byproduct of the new tone established during the first year of the papacy of Pope Francis. If it once might have seemed inappropriate for a nun to even appear on the show — an issue still stirring discussion on different Catholic websites — now the outpouring of public support is seen as more proof of the so-called Francis effect.

“There is a tendency for music to need to be transgressive,” said the Rev. Raffaele Giacopuzzi, artistic director of the Good News Festival, the Christian singing competition won by Sister Cristina last year. “But today faith is the last transgression. So the time was ripe, but no one noticed.”

Others see savvy programming. Aldo Grasso, television critic for Corriere della Sera, the Milan daily, said that reality shows occasionally produced viral singing sensations, such as Susan Boyle in Britain, but that the producers of “The Voice” also “were smart to exploit the fact that there is a popular pope who speaks to the faithful using popular language.”

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