Cardinal Ravasi: “Even If You Can’t Sing Well, Sing”


By now you’ve undoubtedly heard that Sister Cristina Scuccia, the talented nun whose performance on Italy’s The Voice has garnered more than 51 million views on YouTube, is the season’s big winner.

Deacon Greg Kandra reported the story this morning over at The Deacon’s Bench.


I wrote about her in March, when she belted out the Alicia Keyes song “No One” during the blind auditions for the show.

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Cardinal Ravasi


It seemed the world was watching the finale–and among viewers of the live show last night was Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture.  During the live show, Cardinal Ravasi tweeted a quote from sixth century Roman statesman and writer Cassiadorus, who was a great supporter of monastic communities:  “If we continue to commit injustice, God will leave us without music.”

He followed up this morning with another tweet, this time advice from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, eighteenth-century founder of the Breslov Hasidic community.  Nachman’s philosophy revolved around closeness to God and speaking to God as in normal conversation, as one would address a close friend.  Nachman said (and Cardinal Ravasi tweeted):   “Even if you can’t sing well, sing.  Sing to yourself.  Sing in the privacy of your home.  But sing!”  

Sister Cristina did sing.  And when the votes were tallied and it was announced that she had won, Sister Cristina had one more surprise for her fans:  She led them in prayer.

Her presence on The Voice, she said, wasn’t to walk away a winner or a music star, but to show people a different kind of victory.  “My dream,” said Sister Cristina,

“…is to recite the Our Father together, maybe we can all hold each other’s hands and pray.  I want Jesus to come right here inside!”

J-Ax, her atheist coach, warned her that he and the other bad-boy coach on stage, Piero Pelu, “will burst into flames.”  But pray, she did.

Sister Cristina was truly a winner–as were we all.

She sang four songs during last night’s show.  Here is the last of them:  Beautiful That Way”, from the 1997 movie “Life Is Beautiful” which starred Robert Benigni as a father in a concentration camp who tried to help his imprisoned son understand that despite external conditions, the human spirit will succeed.



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  • Mary E.

    I know that Sister Cristina’s performance of “No One” has inspired me to sing along as I’ve listened. Deacon Greg also posted the video of her singing that song (still the one I love the most) again at the end of last night’s show. I was so happy to hear that she won. She gets a contract with Universal as part of her victory, and I (like many, many other people) will be waiting for her first album.

  • Yay!! That’s fantastic. Now can you imagine a winner of American Idol leading the audience in an Our Father? 😉 Well, you know, anything is possible.