The Pope Francisco greeted a man dressed as the superhero Spiderman on Wednesday in the general audience with the faithful, which takes place every Wednesday in the courtyard of St. Damaso of the Vatican.
Spiderman gave the pontiff his superhero mask and revealed his identity: Mattia Villardita, a 28-year-old Italian founder of ‘Supereroincorsia’ (superheroes in the room, in Spanish), an association of volunteers who dress up as famous comic book characters to visiting children admitted to hospitals, according to the news portal Vatican News.
Villardita will go this Wednesday, at the initiative of the Vatican Public Safety Inspectorate, to the pediatric ward of the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome with the musical band of the Italian State Police to “start a smile from the little ones who are in the hospital “.
The first time the young man donned the spider-man costume was four years ago, moved by his own experience, since he has suffered from a congenital disease since he was a child and, he assures, would have “loved (…) to see Spiderman enter through the window” the times he was admitted as a child.
At this time, in addition to having met Pope Francis, Villardita has been recognized with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, which was handed over to him last year by the president, Sergio Mattarella, for the “altruism and imaginative initiatives with which he contributes to alleviate the suffering of the hospital’s youngest patients.”
The pope’s general audiences, interrupted by the pandemic since last October, returned on May 12 to the courtyard of San Dámaso, inside the apostolic palace, and not to the Plaza de San Pedro, to reduce the number of participants and the risk of contagion.