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.
‘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
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: ‘I have had the opportunity to meet some young people who… have given me the strength to investigate this question that I have carried with me since I was little, but which various fears prevented me from exploring further.
‘In recent years I have met wonderful people who have given me so much and allowed me to experience art. I won’t abandon everything, because my passions are part of me but I will live them and propose them again in different contexts.’
He said last year he went to live with two priests, ‘the most beautiful experience of his life’, which inspired his faith.
He went on to study theology and worked in two parishes of the Florentine diocese, concluding 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
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
‘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’.