Pope Francis Meets Spiderman

During the General Audience

In the General Audience of today, June 23, 2021, during Pope Francis’ usual greeting to the faithful in Saint Damasus’ courtyard, he met Mattia Villardita, a young volunteer of the “Superheroes in the Room” work, dressed as Spiderman, who went to hear the Holy Father’s catechesis.

As he describes on his Web page, Villardita, 27 is employed, but spends his free time dressed as Spiderman, “to bring a smile and some joy to less fortunate children in hospitals.” In collaboration with the Giannina Gaslini Children’s Hospital and the Old Bungee Center, a charitable event was organized to purchase technological and diagnostic equipment to treat young patients.

At the end of the catechesis, the Pontiff went to chat with the young volunteer and to give him a Rosary. In exchange, the Pope received a mask of the superhero. In 2020, Villardita was given a prize by the President of the Italian Government, Sergio Mattarella, for his solidarity work in hospitals.

Not to Be Locked in Traditions of the Past


Pope Spiderman
© Vatican Media

In this morning’s Audience, Pope Francis exhorted to fight “the temptation to be locked in some ways and traditions of the past, as a possible solution for today’s crisis, following Saint Paul’s teaching to follow “the liberating and ever new path of Jesus crucified and resurrected.”

Today the Bishop of Rome presided over the General Audience with faithful in Saint Damasus’ courtyard in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, broadcast live and observing the prevention measures given the COVID-19 pandemic. The Holy Father began a new series of catecheses, focusing on the introduction of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester