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Rome Reports

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Totti, Maradona and Del Piero sign Pope Francis super hero T-shirt for charity

What began as graffiti mainly attributed to Mauro Pallotta in the streets of Rome, has become one of the Vatican's grand charity initiatives. 

MAURO PALLOTTA
Artist

“I didn't expect such a large revolution. I'm very happy and also proud, honestly. I'm happy, above all, about the fact that the design was understood.”

His graffiti, in which the pope appears dressed as Superman carrying a briefcase full of values, was removed just hours after its completion on a wall in Rome. However, the design had such an impact in 2014 that people began selling T-shirts bearing the image. 

Mauro Pallotta and the Vatican are recognizing the human heroes who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways, those who've inspired the name Ordinary Heroes. They're also inviting people to share these heroic acts on the initiative's website. 

One of these T-shirts will travel the globe to be autographed by elite athletes – like Francesco Totti, Maradona, Alessandro del Piero and Marc Márquez – before later being put up for auction. 

TOTTI
“I'm happy to participate in the Ordinary Heroes initiative. It's dedicated to the heroes who carry out extraordinary acts every day to make the world a better place, above all to improve the planet. That's why I'm nominating and inviting Diego Armando Maradona to participate.”

One athlete after the next will sign the shirt until the end of summer, when the auction ceremony will take place in the Vatican. Proceeds will go to Peter's Pence, the charity that raises funds for the most needy. 

CHRISTIAN FASULO
Digital Marketing, Polk and Union

“Many celebrities will participate. We are looking for a way for the shirt to travel around the world and get to those who have to sign it. On ordinaryheroes.it there's a map showing the shirt's current location, who has signed it and who will sign it.”

Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications Darío Viganó and the Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, Ángelo Becciu, also attended the presentation.

Although the autographed shirt will be difficult to obtain, the standard model can be purchased online in one of four colors for 19 euros, because anyone can also be a hero like Pope Francis.