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Pope Francis Just Met Spider-Man

by : Julia Banim on : 23 Jun 2021 12:43
Pope Francis Just Met SpidermanPA Images

In surely what must be the most unlikely meeting of 2021 so far, Pope Francis has just met Spider-Man himself.

A man dressed in a full-blown Spider-Man costume attended Pope Francis’s general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, June 23. It’s unclear whether he’d driven there, or simply swung his way in.

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Seated beside a black-clad priest in the sombre VIP section in the Vatican’s San Damaso Courtyard, Spidey looked more than a tad out of place, but the Pope seemed to take it all in his stride.

Pope and Spider-Man (PA Images)PA Images

Photos show Pope Francis greeting the iconic comic book character, with Spidey gifting the 84-year-old his very own Spider-Man mask. Whether or not he will wear it during his holy duties remains to be seen.

In a heart-warming turn of events, the man inside the Spider-Man suit would appear to be a real-life superhero in his own right. The man in question is 27-year-old Mattia Villardita, from northern Italy, Reuters reports.

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Mattia was quite rightly honoured with a place in the VIP section on account of his efforts working with sick children in hospitals, visiting them while clad in superhero costumes.

Pope and Spider-Man (PA Images)PA Images

Just last year, Italian President Sergio Mattarella awarded Mattia for his caring work, appointing him as Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, La Stampa reports.

Mattia, who has reportedly had health problems since birth, was awarded for his ‘altruism and imaginative initiatives,’ which have helped to ‘alleviate the suffering of the youngest hospital patients’.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Pope Francis, Spider-Man

Credits

La Stampa and 1 other
  1. La Stampa

    The Spiderman of hospitalized children Mattia Villardita knighted by Mattarella

  2. Reuters

    Far from home? Spider-Man drops in at the papal audience