Spider-Man swung by to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.
The man, dressed head to toe in the famous skin-tight, all-in-one outfit complete with the iconic headcovering, was spotted seated in the VIP section in Vatican’s San Damaso Courtyard. His neighbors seemed unfazed by the Marvel character in the seat next to them.
Photos show Pope Francis greeting the Marvel comic book character, moments before Spidey handed the 84-year-old his very own Marvel mask. We’ll have to wait and see if it makes an appearance in next Wednesday’s mass.
‘Spider-Man’ was spotted in the VIP section in Vatican’s San Damaso Courtyard AFP via Getty Images
While Pope Francis is a hero in the Catholic church, the man behind the mask was uncovered to be a hero to children everywhere. Mattia Villardita, 27, from northern Italy was given a place in the VIP audience to pay homage to his volunteering work, visiting children’s hospitals dressed as different superheroes to visit sick children.
The Marvel character was seen shaking hands with Pope Francis on WednesdayAFP via Getty Images
This isn’t the first time Mattia’s work was highlighted. Last year, Italian President Sergio Mattarella awarded Mattia for his heartwarming work by 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’.