Italy's 'most handsome man' quits modelling career to become a priest

Edoardo Santini won a pageant aged 17, but at 21 he now he wants to embrace his faith, he told Instagram followers.

A man who was once voted the most handsome in all of Italy has announced he has quit his modelling career to join the priesthood.

Edoardo Santini was 17 when he won the title of Italy’s most beautiful man in 2019, in a national beauty pageant organised by fashion group ABE.

After studying drama and dance – alongside working as a model – he has confirmed on Instagram that he plans to give up his career for his faith.

“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,” he said in the video.

Edoardo Santini won the title in 2019. / Credit: ANSA/The Florence Baptistery

“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.”

Mr Santini explained he “took the first step” last year when he started living with two priests – which he described as the “best experience” of his 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,” he said.

“And here I am, studying theology and serving two parishes in the Florentine diocese.”

Mr Santini said he will “put aside” his job as a model and dancer, opting for 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 added. “Because they make me who I am.”

“But I will live them in a different context.”

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