Spider-Man swings through the Vatican to meet Pope Francis
Spider-Man takes Italy! Peter Parker Pope Francis made an acquaintance at the Vatican on Wednesday.
Those attending the Pope’s weekly address were surprised to see someone fully clothe in Marvel’s, Spider Man costume.
The Italian man, identified as Mattia Villardita, often dresses up as comic-book characters to surprise sick children in hospitals across Italy.
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His initiative, entitled, “Superheroes in the Ward,” was launched two years ago. Some of his friends often join him in this effort as well.
Apparently, Pope Francis was quite familiar with Villardita his philanthropic mission.
Villardita even gifted Pope Francis with a custom-made Spider Man mask. Following the address, he was encouraged by the Pope to take number of selfies with kids.
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When asked why Spider-Man, Villardita told the Catholic News Agency (CNA), “It’s my favorite character from when I was a kid.
The 28 year-old was inspired to put smiles on the faces of sick children in hospitals because of his own story.
Born with congenital malformation, Villardita spent the first 19 years of his life as a regular patient at Gaslini Pediatric Hospital in Genoa, recovering from numerous surgeries.
While he could not make his visits during last year’s coronavirus outbreak, Villardita organized video calls for kids to speak with their favorite superheroes.
He returned to in-person hospital visits in last December.