Sister Cristina Scuccia, who has won Italy’s national televised singing contest and bagged a £160,000 recording contract, has now returned to her convent to a life of prayer and atonement.
Italy’s crooning nun has wowed television audiences with renditions of American pop songs and left the country stunned by urging them to recite The Lord’s Prayer together after her great triumph.
The twenty-five-year-old from Sicily joined the Ursuline Order of the Holy Family four years ago and is to take her final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at the end of next month.
Sister Cristina justified her participation in the TV talent show by citing Pope Francis’s exaltation to carry the message of faith out of the church and to the people.
‘I will always discuss everything with my superiors, as they are not choices that concern me but evangelisation doesn’t rule anything out, and if necessary we will go out into the squares to carry our message,’ Sister Cristina said.
The wide contrast between the diminutive nun in her black habit and clunky shoes and the raunchy delivery of songs like Alicia Keys’s ‘No One’ – which received more than fifty million hits on You Tube – have turned the self-effacing novice into an international sensation.
To consolidate her newly found fame Vatican approval was confirmed when Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, tweeted a comment from the Roman writer Cassiodorus: ‘If we commit injustice God will leave us without music.’
Not everyone applauded her. Online commentators complained that Sister Cristina was likely to return to a cloistered life in her Milan convent having deprived other competitors of an opportunity to make a career.
Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper suggested that the nun had been exploited with commercial cynicism by the state-run TV channel.
As a sign of the Catholic Church undergoing a reformation under its new pontiff, I found the story of the nun to be the beginning of a new era of tolerance within the church.
Her picture, singing a duet with Kylie Minogue, made my heart melt with joy. I truly believe that God and music are intertwined and that the angels are the most formidable chorus that lights up the heavens beyond our conceptual sphere. When life on this planet reaches its finality a new beginning awaits us where music becomes our sustenance and the elixir of love our eternal gift.
Our Sicilian nun has shown us the way, so let’s rejoice and praise the Lord.