No joke: Italian photographer publishes calendar of hot priests

December 30, 2013 • 9:58 am

The Local, a site covering Italian news in English, has a story about photograph Piero Pazzi, who has, for 11 years, produced an annual calendar depicting “hot priests”:

The Italian photographer behind a calendar of brooding priests told The Local his portraits are more about “informing people about the Vatican” and less about showcasing the most beautiful men within the Catholic Church.

It is officially called the Calendario Romano, or Roman Calendar. But on the streets of Rome, the annual line-up of strapping young men of the cloth is better known as the “hot priest calendar”.

Tourists can often be seen expressing dismay as they stumble across the calendar adorning gift stands close to the Vatican, before snatching a peek, handing over €10 to the vendor and scurrying off.

But the Venice-based photographer behind the calendar, Piero Pazzi, insists the portraits are purely intended to promote the Eternal City and inform visitors about the Vatican.

Yeah—who’s gonna believe that?

They are all genuine priests, usually snapped in Rome during Holy Week, he tells The Local.  He also travels to Seville to capture clergymen during the Spanish city’s Holy Week procession.

If you hunger for this kind of stuff, here are Mr. September and Mr. December (or should I say “Father September and Father December”). You can see the whole calendar here.

And remember, these guys are celibate.

Mr. September



86 thoughts on “No joke: Italian photographer publishes calendar of hot priests

    1. If someone believes in the literal truth of the Babble, even the watered-down Catholic version, they’ll believe anything!

  1. “… insists the portraits are purely intended to promote the Eternal City and inform visitors about the Vatican.”

    Wouldn’t photos of the actual VATICAN do a better job of that?

    1. Just as with the White House, the term applies equally well to the officials currently there as it does to the building itself.

      This is most commonly seen when the press reports on press releases issued by either, but it’s also not at all uncommon for the press to report on the mood of either.

      You’ll find similar usage for #10 Downing Street, the Kremlin, etc.



      1. Yes, but used in that sense, it does not refer to your average Joe Priest, rather, the governing body. Still, a photo of an administrative assistant doesn’t tell me squat about the White House.

        1. It would, if it was devoted to asexual asceticism and yet a disproportionate number were pinup models.

          And I think most administrators would tell you that the people they surround themselves with represent a great deal about themselves. After all, it’s the staff who actually does things — and, at such high a level, they’re generally setting a great deal of policy, themselves, even if nominally subject to oversight.

          Yes, even the administrative assistants. Swift called them, “flappers,” and they’re some of the most powerful of all officials.



        1. Thanks. I vaguely recollect having stumbled across that word sometime before, but clearly not often enough to have picked it up…we’ll see if it sticks this time….


          1. Wait…no, I’m mistaken. “Metonymy” is the better fit, as it can refer simply to related items being used to represent each other in speech. “Synecdoche” is specifically a part representing the whole. So “White House” or “Vatican” being used to refer to the individuals contained therein is not synecdoche.

  2. I saw this calendar at a street vendor’s stand on a trip to Rome last year and almost fell down laughing. I regret not buying one for the sake of amusing friends.

    During the rest of the visit I gave more attention to the priests walking the streets both near the Vatican and elsewhere. I didn’t have the calendar to check for matches, but I was struck by the number who were young and relatively handsome. I suspect good looks may really improve the odds of being placed in a post close to the Vatican.

  3. Glad my worry that I would scroll down to photo’s of priest’s in briefs was unfounded. I was already thinking following this, next there’ll be calendar’s with pic’s of Elders clad only in their magic underwear displayed for sale in stores all around Temple Square.

  4. ” . . . told The Local his portraits are more about “informing people about the Vatican” and less about showcasing the most beautiful men within the Catholic Church.”

    I’ll treat that claim half-way seriously when a calendar featuring nuns, with their hair shaken loose and visible, is similarly produced.

      1. So bring your good times, and your laughter too

        We gonna celibate your party with you

        Celibate good times,come on!

              1. The Marineland jingle! I grew to hate it; it was everywhere when I was at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Every. Damn. Commercial beak. Sometimes more than once.

              2. Must admit that one’s new to me. I can understand how it could be really obnoxious, but, with a single exposure, it doesn’t really do anything.


              3. It’ll take repeated unbidden viewings.

                It’s no more annoying than any other jingle. I think the aggressiveness of their spring/summer campaigns rubbed me the wrong way. You’d see it four times in ten minutes! Enough already!

                And it’s not clever or funny or anything like that.

              4. It somehow wiggles itself into your brain. It’s horrible. I think this is what they force you to listen to in hell!

  5. Warning! masturbating with this calendar is a mortal sin with no chance for repentance. ~ As always, with love, God

  6. This calendar is not a complete waste, not by a long shot. Those photos will probably come in very handy one day as extant mug shots.

    1. Indeed, and the bible is full of “rod” references. Now I see this one completely differently: “I will chasten him with the rod of men” Samuel 7:14

      1. You remember that famous scene in which the talking plant (on fire!) gives magic wand lessons to the reluctant hero?

        Well, what said hero does with his wand is completely heterosexual, as the song goes.



  7. It always makes me sad when I see young people like this in the church. I want to tell them – No! Go have sex!

    I can’t decide if it’s them or me that I really feel sorry for. 😀

    1. Celibate, my ass! I’d like to interview them to see how the story really goes down.

      I have a friend who had a thing with a priest in high school. I forget if he was the one going there to say mass regularly, or if he was the one in charge of the after-school glee club.

  8. This week the tv newspaper reported similar iniciatives of calendars,

    -one depicts sexy spanish mothers that want to finance their children school bus, see ;
    -one depicts firemen that thought of offering the profits to a social cause, as Caritas, but it was not accepted; see
    And it has been reported also about these same calendar that depicts the
    most beautiful priests (I think the Vatican doesn´t support the iniciative) but the calendar is quite popular in Italy.

    Nons are supposed to marry with Jesus Christ, isn´t it curious ?

  9. I seem to remember that originally, celibacy for priests was not really abstinence from sex but abstinence from marriage so that there would not be spouses and children to inherit dead priests’ possessions, properties and money which would then go straight to the Church (and enrich it). The French word for bachelor (unmarried man or woman) is “célibataire”, from “célibat” [celibacy in English] – see Since then, it seems to have included chastity.

    There is a French joke: Two old priests are discussing the big changes in the Church resulting from the various synods. One of the priests says to the other: “Soon they will allow us priests to marry!”, and the other priest responds “I don’t think we will see this in our lifetimes, but our children surely will!”

  10. “…the portraits are purely intended to promote the Eternal City and inform visitors about the Vatican.”

    Pull the other one! [Actually, please don’t.]

        1. Holy Cow!!
          There must be some confessors that would like
          to get some of those nuns into their booths.
          Hail Mary’s would be droning and rosaries would be clicking something awful. And the confessors would probably need to confess too.
          It could start a confessional building bubble.

  11. Back in my late, but not great, Catholic days, we had a young, really good looking parish priest that we girls called Father What-a-Waste!

  12. A man walking through a Catholic neighborhood turns a corner and sees a small boy sobbing his eyes out. “My goodness!”, exclaims the man. “Whatever is the problem, young lad?”

    “My mum died this morning”, the boy says, between sobs.

    “Oh my poor, poor boy… that’s just terrible… would you like me to call a priest?”

    “Not really”, says the boy, “I really cannot think of sex at a time like this.”

  13. Some men have a kink for “virginity,” for the idea of being a woman’s first lover. Maybe this is selling to people who want the male equivalent.

    Sure, lots of us here are assuming that those priests aren’t celibate, certainly that not all of them are: but someone who wants to believe the guy s/he is wanking over is a virgin might choose a photo of a priest rather than one of a boy band.

    1. Ugh, I don’t think too many women would want that. I think they fantasize over these men in the same way my friend fantasizes over John Barrowman – that he’s straight and loves only her. 🙂

  14. I shall have to get a copy of that calendar. I have several friends who are, to use their self description, rampant screaming queens. They will get so … excited by that.

      1. If the calendar is aimed at the gay market, then the photographer and/or publisher are not being totally forthright with the RCC hierarchy, eh?

      2. It may not have been deliberately aimed there, but as sure as … errr … I’m not going to try to unscramble the relevant metaphors from the irrelevant ones … there are priestly stud muffins going up on bedroom (or toilet) walls around the world as I type.
        It’s a way of getting their own back.

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