The Pope Just Married Two Flight Attendants at 30,000 Feet
Carlos Ciuffardi and Paola Podest, two LATAM flight attendants flying from Santiago, Chile to the northern city of Iquique, had a spontaneous inflight wedding. And it was officiated by the Pope.
While on his tour of the South American nation, Pope Francis — and his entire entourage — happened to be taking this same commercial flight. On the trip, each flight attendant was given permission to approach the Pope to ask for a photograph.
When it was their turn, Ciuffardi and Podest (who are also a couple) approached the Pope together. The Pope asked if they were married.
The duo explained that while technically married, they had only been joined through a civil ceremony. The pair had planned to wed in a lavish church ceremony on February 27, 2010, but, as CBS explained, a massive earthquake struck the region and their church collapsed on their wedding day.
Without skipping a beat, the Pope asked Ciuffardi and Podest if they would like him to perform the ceremony — right there, on the airplane. The ecstatic couple said yes.
The Pope then performed the service, blessed their rings, and the couple kissed to seal their union.
"We can't believe the Pope married us," Ciuffardi told reporters on the flight. "A pope has never married anyone on a plane." He added, "We hope it will promote marriage. We have a Vatican document, it's all valid."
And that document may be more special than the average marriage license, as it was drafted by hand by another Chilean cardinal who happened to be on the flight.
As a gift, the Pope gave the bride and groom a matching black and white rosary set.
"This is what's missing in the world — the sacrament of marriage,” the Pope told the couple. “I hope this motivates couples to marry."
So what’s next for the newlyweds? A honeymoon, of course. Unfortunately, they told reporters it will have to be a short event, as they are scheduled for a return flight to Santiago tomorrow.