Culture & Lifestyle
Published June 24, 2021

Spider-Man Fan Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican

The Italian native sought to bring awareness to hospitalized children.

Spider-Man and the Pope ((AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

During Pope Francis’ weekly Wednesday audience this week, the pontiff was in the audience of a real-life Super Hero, Matteo Villardita.

Villardita, an Italian native, dresses up a Spider-Man to cheer up hospitalized children, such as those currently residing in the Vatican’s pediatric hospital. Speaking to AP TV, Villardita revealed his mission of helping ailing, hospitalized children to find some joy and smile.

While meeting Pope Francis, Villardita, dressed in his Spider-Man suit, asked the pontiff to pray for these children and their family, and offered him a spare mask as a gesture of “through these eyes I daily see pain from sick children in the hospitals.”

Inspired by the Marvel fan’s commitment to his cause, the Vatican described Villardita as a “really good Super Hero.”

During Italy’s pandemic lockdown, Villardita estimates he made over 1,400 video calls to cheer up the hospitalized children he was not able to visit in person.

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