Pope Francis during the week performed a quick wedding ceremony for a couple on board his flight from Santiago to Iquiqe, Chile during his papal visit to the country.
According to the Vatican, this is the first time a Pope has celebrated a wedding during a flight. Spokesman, Greg Burke, said the event was “unexpected”.
The couple, Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, and Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, are both flight attendants who met 8 years ago. They were married in a civil ceremony in 2010, but were unable to have a Catholic wedding in their parish church because it collapsed in the 2010 earthquake. They have two children.
Reports said the couple introduced themselves to the Pope and asked if he would bless their marriage. Bit the Pope asked them if they wanted him to conduct the Catholic marriage ceremony and get them married. They agreed immediately.
The official witness was an airline executive. A Chilean bishop, also on board the flight, signed a handwriiten marriage document to make it valid.
“It was very moving. We can’t believe the pope married us! Marriage works…we hope it will promote marriage”, the couple told journalists on the plane after the ceremony.