Priest of the Month

3 Dec

Folks, it’s Sunday, a religious day, and I have a topic on a somewhat religious note for you. Now, please don’t get offended by this. I’m a little nervous even going here but in all sincerity, I am just trying to unravel and demystify a phenomenon that has been puzzling me for the last few years, when I first saw it appear on Roman newsstands. So, without further ado, I give you: the “hot priests” calendar:

For the price of just €6 (about $8 US), you too can be the proud owner of 12 months of black and white shots of men of the cloth.

What IS this?

I mean, first of all: will you please look at Mr. March?

Is that not just a little bit, well, I don’t know…suggestive? It kind of gives me the heeby-jeebies. I mean, it’s a priest. And if I’m not mistaken, they’ve taken a photo of him, trying to make him look almost seductive. Do I need a new pair of contact lenses or is this a fairly accurate assessment?

Another point to make note of: there’s not one ugly priest in the bunch. It’s not like they got a shot of some 90-year old priest giving confession, or tried to represent the entire spectrum. These priests are in their prime and they are all fairly or very good-looking. I mean, HELLO October!

Again, I feel kind of blasphemous even saying that but people, is it not the truth?

This brings us to several questions:

1) Who makes this calendar and why?
2) Perhaps in answer to why: where do the profits go? Charity?
3) What is the target market for this calendar? I mean, WHO really buys it?

Yes, people, I bought the calendar, but only in the name of blogging. I swear! I was considering taking some photos of it at the newsstand but in the end, the embarrassment quotient of taking digital shots of the thing from the sidewalk was, for me, greater than that of actually purchasing it and then scanning various photos at my leisure.

Now. In answer to question #1: they have a website. I saw the name Piero Pazzi on the calendar, looked it up on Google, and there it was. I don’t see it written anywhere that the profits go to charity, because the same website also offers a calendar of Venetian gondoliers (which, frankly, I would feel a lot less guilty about hanging on my wall and admiring) and a calendar of angels. So the answer to part 2 of question 1 is clearly: cha-ching. Unless you can find evidence to the contrary. I don’t feel like going to the trouble of emailing the guy to ask because it seems fairly clear to me. In the English part of his website, he explains the calendar’s purpose like so:

This calendar intends to give basic information and some notes on the general characteristics of the Vatican with the hope of sating the thirst for knowledge continually demonstrated by the Eternal City’s visitors.

Yes, you read that right. Please, Mr. Pazzi, sate my “thirst for knowledge.”

All I could find by way of news was this little bit in Italian, which says that it’s the 5th year running that Pazzi, himself a gondolier, has made the calendar, and that the photos are all taken during public services and on the streets, in Seville, Rome, and Venice. Do you think the priests have to sign some kind of release form or get permission from someone in the Church to be photographed and appear in this calendar? Do you think they even know what the photos are for?

I ran into a discussion thread in Italian here, where the participants are trying to answer the same questions. One even contacted some people associated with the Church but didn’t get any answers. Someone suggests that they might not be actual priests. I have no idea, but it seems like it would be a heck of a lot of trouble to go to, dressing these guys up and parading them around. My gut feeling is that they are real priests.

Signore Pazzi (which, coincidentally, translates to “Mr. Crazies”) suggests on his website that his calendars make a great Christmas present. So, looking for that perfect gift for the person in your life who’s got everything? I can almost guarantee you they don’t have this.

And folks, I still have mine. Now that it has served its purpose, I’m putting it out in the first ever At Home in Rome Rummage Sale. Only at my rummage sale, like the one I saw over at my pal African Kelli’s place, is a free one. So, first come, first served, and it’s yours, in the mail and on its way. Just send an email with your mailing address to ahirswap AT gmail DOT com. Leave a comment so others know when it’s taken.

At this point I guess all that’s left to say is Happy Holidays, and happy priest-admiring! (Heeby jeebies, I tell you!)

Oh, and by the way? Apparently they’re doing “casting” for 2008. Know anyone who might be interested?


35 Responses to “Priest of the Month”

  1. J.Doe December 3, 2006 at 3:56 pm #

    I don’t think the people who buy this calendar to gawk at the priests will become more religious to the teachings of the church. What were they really thinking when they published this?

  2. Ebony and Ivory December 3, 2006 at 4:10 pm #

    I couldn’t help but laugh at this. It’s bizarre!! I mean, doesn’t this go against everything the church stands for??? Temptation, lust…lol! I have to admit, these priests are hot, but now I feel like I should go to confession or something…Money IS the root of all evil.

  3. valerie December 3, 2006 at 5:53 pm #

    I saw that on the street in Rome, too and thought the same thing…a little creepy!

  4. East of Oregon December 3, 2006 at 5:58 pm #

    things that make you go.. hmmmmmmmmmm. thanks for sharing that. I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that some priests would be paraded in a calendar such as that. Disturbing is the word. You are so right. take care!

  5. Ms Adventures in Italy December 3, 2006 at 7:36 pm #

    Shelley – I saw that calendar as well in the bookshop on Via del Moro, and I remember having a conversation with someone and they said that that year there was really only one real priest! It is strange, tho. 🙂

  6. Julie December 3, 2006 at 7:43 pm #

    I am shocked! That is really awful, I can’t believe it. But it’s got me laughing! You come up with really entertaining stuff. :-0

  7. Elizabeth December 3, 2006 at 11:02 pm #

    Yikes! I’m sure my devout-latin-mass-going MIL would just love one of these for christmas! And what’s up with the one petting the cat? Very weird.

  8. Moon Martini December 4, 2006 at 3:31 am #

    Ahhhh, forbidden fruit. Ok, I feel a bit dirty now. I may need to go to confession.

  9. Moon Martini December 4, 2006 at 3:43 am #

    Hi Shelley,I sent you an email about the calendar. Cheers,Sierra

  10. mad December 4, 2006 at 8:31 am #

    I think thats awesome….am I the only one?? Wish our local priest was as cute as Mr March, I’d might go to mass more often if he were….nothing wrong with perving at them (i think or maybe I’m going straight to hell :0)

  11. nyc/caribbean ragazza December 4, 2006 at 4:01 pm #

    LOL. So Thornbirds (okay that might be before your time. I barely remember the TV miniseries.) That said, I wonder who exactly is the audience for such a calendar? I was in Trastevere with a Roman friend and a very attractive priest walked by us. She was horrified when I did a double take. Maybe she is used to it, I don’t see such things in my next of the woods. I think God wants us to appreciate all forms of art. 🙂

  12. Expat Traveler December 4, 2006 at 7:34 pm #

    I’m guessing these are guys dressed up as priests… It is a funny situation and yes I’d be a bit embarrassed too! But they are hunks for sure!

  13. chris & erin December 4, 2006 at 8:19 pm #

    haha! This is hilarious – you know, I think this is connected to the Gondolieri Calendars that I’ve seen in Venice! Thanks for the encouraging comment on my blog! I’m enjoying reading through yours…

  14. Kelli December 5, 2006 at 9:08 pm #

    Pretty sure lusting after priests is wrong, but hot damn!! 🙂

  15. Trish December 5, 2006 at 11:19 pm #

    I just emailed Mr. Crazies to get my own calendar. I’m not necessarily religious so I don’t feel one bit guilty. 😉

  16. Stelle In Italia December 6, 2006 at 9:14 am #

    i’ve seen that calendar all over too–it’s SOO weird! I don’t get it either. (but it still cracks me up! 🙂 )

  17. Seth December 8, 2006 at 4:37 pm #

    the same website also offers a calendar of Venetian gondoliers (which, frankly, I would feel a lot less guilty about hanging on my wall and admiring)But isn’t that the entire point of Catholicism?

  18. naschkatze December 8, 2006 at 7:23 pm #

    nyc/caribbean ragazza, sooooo Thornbirds 707!

  19. Anonymous December 9, 2006 at 9:56 am #

    Money is a medium of exchange. It provides information about demand and supply. Its role in society is good. It is the “love” of money that Timothy (6:10) said was the root of all evil. (emphasis added)

  20. woodroad34 December 9, 2006 at 9:56 am #

    Perhaps they need more women to become nuns (just to get closer those priests)! Orrrrrr, maybe they need more priests…I’m just sayin’

  21. Brian December 10, 2006 at 2:37 pm #

    Oh my! Glad I’m wearing a cassock…!

  22. Anonymous December 10, 2006 at 2:37 pm #

    I knew some Franciscans who had this up in the church where they had oversight. They all thought it was hilarious. I bought one for our priest – I think his favorite was June.

  23. Julie December 10, 2006 at 2:37 pm #

    Haha! Yes, I have also seen these calendars (they’re everywhere!) and my reaction was: “Oh, Father February! Won’t you hear my confession?” — as a joke of course! It’s too hilarious but I suppose it’s a side effect of the church’s omnipresence in the city.

  24. Anonymous December 10, 2006 at 2:38 pm #

    These are hot men, and forbidden fruit, The obvious market is to gay men (like me). The calander is delicious, and I’m ordering one to fanticise over.

  25. Anonymous December 10, 2006 at 4:42 pm #

    It is obvious that all the gorgeous priest’s are kept at the Vatican. I’ve never seen a priest that good looking here in the US! These guys have to be models…perhaps Shelley, your next item of interest should be posted by At Home in Rome Private Investigations. Answer all our questions about these hunks! Inquiring minds want to know. MargH

  26. Anonymous December 11, 2006 at 3:33 pm #

    The truth is finally out — only one of those priests in the priest calendar is really a priest! (I can’t remember which one, exactly, but I seem to recall it was one of the summer ones.) Mr December is a waiter in a restaurant near my apartment in piazza Vittorio, and I know that for a fact because I’ve had a crush on him for years, he’s adorable.

  27. Quatrefoil December 12, 2006 at 11:54 am #

    I’m really tempted to buy this for my boss. She’s a nun.

  28. Anonymous December 15, 2006 at 7:00 pm #

    How do i get one?

  29. Anonymous March 18, 2007 at 6:49 am #

    As a seminary student here in Rome I can tell you for certain most of us just aren’t that pretty..these guys are models! A good clue is that sometimes they are just not dressed right..hats on wrong way round etc. Sorry to shatter illusions but i guess that sorta makes the lust a little less guilty.As to who buys them? Think Mrs. Doyle in Fr.Ted, our Housekeeper gets one every year!

  30. Wanderlust Scarlett May 16, 2007 at 6:30 pm #

    Holy calendar boy, Batman! AAAAAAAAAAAmen.

  31. Wanderlust Scarlett May 16, 2007 at 7:40 pm #

    …just perusing, they have the new Calendar out… hee hee… If I’d known, I would have put roots down in Italy 1 block from the Vatican years ago.And converted to Catholicism.;opScarlett

  32. SS February 8, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    it’s totally forbidden. i’m a ridiculously strict catholic .. but still find myself attracted to the hot, forbidden men of my church. call me crazy .. but HELLO October.

  33. Nita July 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Hahahaha! I wonder if they one with nuns? LOL


  1. Caught My Eye « Un'americana a Roma - November 11, 2012

    […] calendar that sparked so much interest when I first wrote about it back in 2006 (better known as Priest of the Month) is still to be had everywhere in downtown Rome, with the EXACT SAME COVER. Hello, marketing […]

  2. One Week of Rome Randomness | Un'americana a Roma - September 15, 2013

    […] barbeque. Shall I insert some smart-alecky one-liner that somehow brings in the Pope and/or the hot priest of the month calendar? Yeah, no. Let’s just say your sausage will be both raked over the coals and simultaneously […]

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