A cheery Catholic nun has clinched an Italian television talent singing contest after winning millions of followers with her lively dance act and soulful renditions of pop classics.
Wearing her habit and a crucifix around her neck, Suor Cristina immediately thanked God for her victory on Thursday in The Voice of Italy and recited an “Our Father” prayer to puzzlement among the organisers.
“I want Jesus to come in here!” said the wholesome 25-year-old with a self-effacing manner, who was dressed in the sensible black shoes and ankle-length black skirt she has worn throughout.
“My presence here is not up to me, it’s thanks to the man upstairs!” said Suor Cristina after winning out against a 28-year-old long-haired hard rocker who had just performed ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
Suor Cristina, a reformed rebel from Sicily who now lives with her order in Milan, has won a record contract with Universal although she has hinted she does not want a musical career.
“I’m not here to start a career, but because I want to impart a message,” said the soul sister, adding that she was following Pope Francis’s calls for a Catholic Church that is closer to ordinary people.
Her final solo performance is below:
And she also performed a duet with her coach, J-Ax:
As a parting gift, she offered a reprise of the first song she performed, the one that catapulted her to international fame, Alicia Key’s “No One.”
CNS notes that even the Vatican has taken notice:
Last night, during the competition, the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture tweeted a quote from an ancient Roman statesman, who was a Christian writer and great supporter of monastic communities:
“If we continue to commit injustice, God will leave us without music.”
And his advice?
This morning the cardinal tweeted a saying from Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav:
“Even if you can’t sing well, sing. Sing to yourself. Sing in the privacy of your home. But sing!”