The Virgin Mary is becoming a stage diva, and she’s counting Pope Benedict XVI as one of her biggest fans. A pope-endorsed musical, “Mary of Nazareth,” is about to debut at the Vatican’s own concert hall before hitting the road, probably to Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. By definition, “Mary” will hardly be a racy production, but — bonus! — Alma Manera, the performer picked to play Jesus’ mother, was once a Miss Italia contestant! via Gawker:

“‘We have sponsored this work with pleasure because Mary of Nazareth is the woman who has communicated and still communicates to mankind today the word of God made man,” ANSA quoted Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, president of the pontifical council for social communication, as saying.

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