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'Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man' Met with the Pope and Gave Him a Superhero Mask

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Jun 26, 2021
03:40 A.M.
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A man dressed in the costume of Spider-Man visited the Pope in the Vatican. This real-life superhero covers himself in Spider-Man’s costume to visit ailing children at the hospital.

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Matteo Villardita, 28, dressed up as a comic book and Marvel Cinematic Universe’s superhero, Spider-Man to meet and cheer up hospitalized children at the Vatican pediatric hospital.

Although usually, Pope Francis is the big name at the Vatican's San Damaso Courtyard, Villardita was the star on Wednesday. His superhero costume grabbed the attention of the public gathered at the courtyard.

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2019, in Vatican City, Vatican. | Source: Getty Images.

Villardita was sitting in the VIP section of the audience. The priest in black dress sitting next to him seemed undisturbed by a man in colorful clothes with huge white eyes.

Villardita proposed to the Pope to pray for the ailing children and their families. Pope Francis understood his noble cause. Villardita, covered in costume, touched the arm and the back of Pope Francis, who wasn’t wearing a mask against coronavirus. AP TV reported, the man gave Francis a mask and said:

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“As a sign, to tell him that through these eyes I daily see pain from sick children in hospitals.”

Villarditta was excited to have met the Pope and share the mission with him. The costumed superhero even captured selfies with young people present in the audience at the courtyard.

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The Vatican classified Villardita as a great superhero and explained that he made over 1,400 video calls during the pandemic lockdown in Italy because he couldn't meet the ailing children in person, to bring a smile to their faces. He works at a terminal shipping company in Italy's northwestern Liguria region during the day.

Holland gave away a little plot of the film to one of the patients.

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As a kid, Villardita had undergone several surgeries to treat a congenital disease. In December, he was honored with an honorary knighthood by Sergio Mattarella, the Italian President, for his volunteer work with the unwell children.

Spider-Man first appeared in 1962 in comic books, issued by Marvel Comics, and has become the most commercially successful and popular character. The superhero starred in multiple movies, many with his name as the title of the movie. Villardita said to Vatican News:

"But the real superheroes are the children who are suffering and their families who are fighting with so much hope."

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In a similar story, the Spider-Man with his two friends visited the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, only this time the Spider-Man was the movie star Tom Holland with his co-stars Zendaya and Jake Gyllenhaal. The young patients and their families were watching an advanced screening when the "Spider-Man: Far From Home".

Holland and Gyllenhaal, both dressed in their costumes, with Zendaya went from one room to another to surprise and chat with their young fans. The stars posed with the children signed posters for them and showed off some of their moves from the film.

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The next thing that happened was just heartwarming. Holland gave away a little plot of the film to one of the patients. Everyone was delighted by the event and the young fans enjoyed the surprise very much.

One little boy was so charmed that he expressed to Holland how much he loves him and the way he shoots the web. Holland smilingly informed him that all his webs were used in reaching the hospital.

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