- Civilly wed flight attendant couple, parents to two children, were spontaneously married by Pope Francis aboard his papal plane
- The 81-year-old pope asked the couple if they want to be married and the two said “we do” in excitement
Love is in the air, literally!
Pope Francis on Thursday celebrated the first-ever papal wedding at 36,000 feet – marrying two flight attendants during a flight to a beach-side town in Northern Chile.
It’s just like another regular travel at first for the Pope and the crew, but moods started to change when flight attendants Paula Podest, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi, 41, revealed that they were a civilly married couple.
The Pope asked them to sit next to him for a picture and asked if they had been married in church.
The couple told Pope Francis they had a civil wedding in 2010 but were unable to follow up with a church ceremony because the February 27, 2010 earthquake that hit Chile damaged their church and the couple never got the chance to pursue that church wedding.
Surprisingly, Pope Francis made a proposal: “I’ll marry you!”
The two readily agreed and the head of the airline volunteered as the witness.
The Pope told the couple: “This is the sacrament that is missing in the world, the sacrament of marriage. May this motivate others to get the sacrament of marriage. I’ll do it for this reason.”
“He told me it’s historic, that there has never before been a pope who married someone aboard a plane,” Carlos, the groom, told media men aboard the flight after he exchanged vows with his Christian wife.
The couple has two children – Rafaela, 6, and Isabela, 3.
Carlos and Paula are now planning to take a “mini-honeymoon” and return to Santiago on Friday.
The Pope left them some words of wisdom, saying: “the wedding rings shouldn’t be too tight, because they’ll torture you, but that if they’re too loose, they’ll fall off. So we have to be careful.”