‘Super-hero’ in Spider-Man outfit meets pope at Vatican

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is usually the star at Vatican gatherings. But Spider-Man, or at least an Italian who dresses up like the comic-book character, was the attention-grabber among the public lined up to attend the pontiff’s weekly audience Wednesday. Matteo Villardita, 28, dons the costume of the comic-book and movie super-hero to cheer up hospitalized children. Sweating under his costume in Rome’s heat wave, Villardita told AP that he asked Pope Francis to pray for the children and their families. Villardita, with a costumed arm, patted Francis, who wore no mask against COVID-19, on the back as he greeted him.  The Vatican said Villardita’s “really a good super-hero.”