TV nun has the X factor

Ursuline nun shares singing talent

A 25-year-old Italian nun has wooed television audiences with her incredible singing talent, but pledged her only ambition is to use music to evangelise.

“I have a gift and I’m giving it to you,” she told judges and her audience after she floored them with her appearance on the reality show The Voice of Italy belting out Alicia Keys’ pop hit No One.

Sr Cristina revealed that she actually found her religious vocation thanks to her love for music and the stage.

As a teenager, Cristina admits she had no place for God in her life. “After Confirmation, I distanced myself from the Church and I was angry with God”. Even making the sign of the cross before family meals was something she rebelled against, she said.

I was constantly looking for “something that I wasn’t finding in my life, running nonstop without getting the answers I was hoping for,” she said. Her mother told her about an upcoming musical production of the life of Sr Rosa Roccuzzo, the foundress of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family, and Cristina landed the lead part of Sr Rosa.

“I had shown up to be able to sing and dance; but the challenges Sr Rosa had launched a century ago, about the gift of one’s existence, always kept ringing inside me.”

Torn between pursuing music or become a nun, she said she quickly found her way to God, “saying, ‘Here I am,’ like Samuel.”

She spent a year and a half in Rome as a postulant and then did her novitiate in Brazil working with children and young adults on the street in the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

“Music helped me make contact with them and I rediscovered singing as a way to praise the Lord, as something my soul needed, and as an instrument for touching people’s hearts,” she said.