Italy’s ‘most handsome man’ set to pursue priesthood

Italy’s ‘most handsome man’ set to pursue priesthood Edoardo Santini

A young man once voted the most handsome man in Italy has quit his modelling job in order to join the priesthood.

Edoardo Santini (21) was just 17 years old when he was voted Italy’s most handsome man in 2019, as part of a modelling pageant.

The social media star took to Instagram to share with his followers his plans to give up on modelling and acting in favour of serving God in the priesthood.

“At 21 years of age I find myself on the path towards becoming a priest, God willing,” Mr Santini said, adding that he’s “decided to give up modelling work, acting and dance”.

“But I won’t abandon all my passions, I’ll just live them differently, offering them up to God,” the young man said.

Mr Santini reflected that at just 21 years old, he finds himself “taking the path to become, God willing, a priest”.

“In these past years I’ve been able to meet people who have shown me what it means to be ‘church’…They have given me the strength to investigate this question that I’ve taken with me from childhood but various fears stopped me from studying it at a deeper level. Last year, I took the first step.”

Mr Santini said that the discernment decision to live with two priests was the “best experience of my life,” and that he is now enrolled in a seminary near Florence.

At the end of his discernment, he said it was “natural” to ask the bishop to enter the preparatory course for priesthood, and that he’s now studying theology and serving two parishes in the Florentine diocese.

Mr Santini received backlash for the decision, “even in my family,” but that he now “can shout: I am Edoardo, I am 21 years old and I am happy”.

Mr Santini shared a clip of himself on Instagram praying in a church, with the caption: “I got back on my path.”

He also updated his profile bio to read, “I’m a Christian, priest wannabe”.