Pope Francis welcomed a man disguised as a superhero Spider-Man this morning to a public audience held every Wednesday in the Vatican’s San Damasco courtyard.
“Spider-Man” reveals his identity by giving the pope his superhero mask: 28-year-old Italian Matteo Villardida, founder of “SuperRoincorcia” (“Superheroes in the Room”, in Spanish), a celebrity comic book to see children admitted to hospitals, according to the news portal.
This afternoon, at the initiative of the Vatican’s public safety inspector, Villardida will travel to the pediatric ward of the Agostino Jemelli Polyclinic in Rome with a band of Italian state police to “make little children in the hospital laugh.”
The young man wore the Spider-Man suit for the first time, four years ago, moved by his own experience because he had suffered from a congenital disease since childhood, and he would have “loved (…) Spiderman to see through the window” times when he was allowed as a child.
During this time, not only did Pope Francis meet today, but Villarrடாda has been recognized with the honorary merit of the Italian Republic, which was presented to him by President Sergio Matterella last year for his “virtuous and imaginative efforts” to help alleviate the suffering of younger patients in the hospital.
The pope’s public observers, who have been interrupted by the epidemic since last October, returned to the courtyard of San Temaso inside the Apostolic Palace on May 12, not to the Plaza de San Pedro, to reduce the number of participants and the risk of infection.