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‘Italy’s most handsome man’ quits modelling to become a priest


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

Edoardo Santini, 21, was voted Italy’s most beautiful man in 2019, when he was 17, in a pageant organised by ABE, a fashion group.

But after a lifetime of studying drama and dance to achieve his dream of becoming a star, he said on social media Saturday he would renounce his career for his faith.

‘At 21 years of age I find myself on the path towards becoming a priest, God willing,’ Edoardo said, claiming to have joined a seminary near Florence. 

‘I’ve 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,’ said the Castel Fiorentino native.

Edoardo Santini, 21, was voted Italy's most beautiful man in 2019, when he was 17, in a pageant organised by ABE

Edoardo Santini, 21, was voted Italy’s most beautiful man in 2019, when he was 17, in a pageant organised by ABE

'At 21 years of age I find myself on the path towards becoming a priest, God willing,' Edoardo said after entering a seminary near Florence

‘At 21 years of age I find myself on the path towards becoming a priest, God willing,’ Edoardo said after entering a seminary near Florence

Edoardo, 21, was voted Italy's most handsome four years ago and has abandoned his dreams of stardom to train as a priest

Edoardo, 21, was voted Italy’s most handsome four years ago and has abandoned his dreams of stardom to train as a priest

Santini said he will not regret the decision 'because now I can shout: I am Edoardo, I am 21 years old and I am happy'.

Santini said he will not regret the decision ‘because now I can shout: I am Edoardo, I am 21 years old and I am happy’.

Speaking to his followers on social media, the rising star explained: ‘At 21 years old my father took the decision to marry my mother because she was pregnant and my mum, at 21, became a mother. 

‘Me, at 21-years-old, I find myself 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,’ he said.

Edoardo said he went to live with two priests, the ‘best experience of my life’. 

‘At the end of the year it was natural for me to ask the bishop to enter the preparatory course, the year that precedes life in the seminary. And here I am, studying theology and serving two parishes in the Florentine diocese.’

Now, he says, he has ‘put aside my job as a model and a dancer’, favouring a new ‘world’ where he has ‘met marvellous people with pure hearts, to whom I owe a lot, who allowed me to grow’.

‘Of course I won’t abandon everything,’ he caveated. ‘Because they make me who I am but I will live them in a different context. 

Edoardo said he would continue to follow his new path in spite of backlash. 

‘Of course I have people that speak behind my back. There are those who have no problem telling me that I’m a disappointment, even in my family. But there are also those who support me, believers and non-believers.’

He said that although it ‘terrified him’ to abandon his dream and become a priest, he was sure he will not regret the decision ‘because now I can shout: I am Edoardo, I am 21 years old and I am happy’. 

In a video shared on his Instagram page last week he shared a clip of him appearing to pray in a church, overlaid with the caption: ‘I got back on my path’. 

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

Edoardo was honoured with his title after taking part in the 40th edition of the national beauty contest Il Bello d’Italia in Avellino back in 2019.

Actors Giorgio Mastrota and Gabriel Garko are among the famous faces who had early success in the competition.

He said at the time the ’emotion was immense’ but he too dreamed of going on to become an actor.

‘Unfortunately there is never enough time for all the activities I would like to do,’ he said in an interview with First Model and Actor.

Edoardo has some 7,000 followers on Instagram, where he rarely posts pictures of himself from modelling shoots and on holiday. 

On Instagram, Edoardo shared a video of himself saying he was quitting modelling to join the priesthood

On Instagram, Edoardo shared a video of himself saying he was quitting modelling to join the priesthood

'At 21 years old my father took the decision to marry my mother because she was pregnant and my mum, at 21, became a mother,' the young actor said

‘At 21 years old my father took the decision to marry my mother because she was pregnant and my mum, at 21, became a mother,’ the young actor said 

'Me, at 21-years-old, I find myself 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',' he continued

‘Me, at 21-years-old, I find myself 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’,’ he continued

Edoardo in a holiday picture shared on Instagram, where he said he was a 'priest wannabe'

Edoardo in a holiday picture shared on Instagram, where he said he was a ‘priest wannabe’

'I won't abandon everything, because my passions are part of me but I will live them and propose them again in different contexts,' the young star wrote on Instagram

‘I won’t abandon everything, because my passions are part of me but I will live them and propose them again in different contexts,’ the young star wrote on Instagram

'Last year I made a step,' Edoardo wrote on social media, with a video showing him in a church captioned 'I got back on my path'.

‘Last year I made a step,’ Edoardo wrote on social media, with a video showing him in a church captioned ‘I got back on my path’.





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