The singing nun stuns the world
The cliche "voice of an angel" has been worn thin by reality TV talent shows. But in the case of Sister Cristina Scuccia, a 25-year-old member of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family, she has a somewhat unique claim on the mantle.
Scuccia has become a global phenomenon after only one appearance on The Voice of Italy, the Italian version of the hit talent format The Voice.
In her audition, she performs the Alicia Keys song No One and is so impressive the audience give her an immediate standing ovation and all four coaches turn to face her.
In the last 24 hours, clips of the performance have gone viral on the internet.
In The Voice format, the four coaches do not see the performers during the "blind audition" phase - they sit with their back to them - and by turning their chair to face the singer, make a commitment to mentor them trough the next round.
If more than one coach turns, the performer must choose which mentor to work with.
As the coaches - singer/actress Raffaella Carra and singer/songwriters Noemi, Piero Pelu and J-ax - turn and face Scuccia, their shock escalates.
Once the audience chanting of "sorella" - Italian for "sister" - quietens, Carra begins by asking Succia - who introduces herself as Suor Cristina - if she is indeed a nun.
Scuccia replies: "Yes, I am truly, truly, a sister."
While the words "suor" and "sorella" both mean sister in Italian; the word "suor" is specifically used as a title for nuns.
The 25-year-old native of the Italian island of Sicily attended the blind auditions accompanied by her parents, and four sisters from her community.
As her performance soared, her fellow sisters could not contain their excitement, cheering, clapping and jumping.
"I came here because I have a gift and I want to share that gift. I am here to evangelise," she said.
Scuccia is not the world's first "singing nun"; that title belongs to Jeanine Deckers, a member of the Dominican Order in Belgium. At the height of her fame she was known as "the Singing Nun".
Deckers early life was dramatised in a 1966 film, The Singing Nun, which starred Debbie Reynolds. Now who will play Scuccia in her biopic?
Sydney Morning Herald