An Italian suited in the Spider-man costume on Wednesday made a quick stop to gift Pope Francis a face mask.


According to AP, the man behind the costume, identified as Matteo Villardita, was among the public lined up in rows during the pontiff’s weekly audience.

Dressed in the Marvel character’s classic red suit which he usually wears to entertain sick children in the hospital, the 28-year-old Italian shook hands with the pope before giving him the spare mask.

The pope, who delivered a themed speech followed by prayers, a homily, and singing sessions, then proceeded to offer blessings to those in attendance, including attendees dressed in superhero costumes.


Among the faithful who lined up in the San Damaso Courtyard for face time with the pontiff, Villardita gained the most attention.

It was gathered that Villardita, after undergoing several surgeries for a congenital condition, visits sick kids in hospitals.

Under his costume in Rome’s heatwave, Villardita asked Pope Francis to pray for the children and their families.


He was quoted to have stated that he gave Francis the spare mask “as a sign to tell him that through these eyes I daily see the pain from sick children in hospitals.”

Speaking to the Vatican News, the Vatican’s media outlet, Villardita was also quoted to have added: “But the real superheroes are the children who are suffering and their families who are fighting with so much hope.”

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