Pope as superman: Vatican tweets graffiti of hero pontiff

Italian street artist Maupal poses next to his street art mural of Pope Francis as a superman, flying through the air with his white papal cloak billowing out behind him and holding a bag bearing the word "Values", in downtown Rome near the Vatican,
Italian street artist Maupal poses next to his street art mural of Pope Francis as a superman, flying through the air with his white papal cloak billowing out behind him and holding a bag bearing the word "Values", in downtown Rome near the Vatican, on Jan 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis as superman, flying through the air with his white cape billowing out behind him: the image graffitied by an anonymous artist onto a wall in Rome was tweeted by the Vatican on Tuesday.

Speeding forwards with his fist raised, the heroic pontiff - crucifix swinging in the wind - carries his trademark black bag, with the word "values" written across it, in Spanish, in white letters.

"We share with you a graffiti found in a Roman street near the Vatican," the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from the Holy See said on its official Twitter page.

The 77-year-old Argentinian Pontiff is renowned for throwing off his security and plunging into the crowds to greet pilgrims, and often uses jokes or stories to spread the values of the Church. He is a keen Twitter user himself, regularly posting tweets on his own feeds in nine languages, which boast more than 10 million followers in total.