Pope marries couple on papal plane

Pope marries couple on papal plane

In the first such ceremony on a papal flight, Pope Francis performed a wedding for a steward and stewardess while flying between two Chilean cities on Thursday. The brief ceremony took place at an altitude of 11,000 metres on a two-hour flight taking the pope from the capital Santiago to the northern city of Iquique.

The wedding came near the end of the pope's visit to Chile.

The couple said they were unable to conduct a ceremony in their church in the Chilean capital, Santiago, after it was damaged in an quake in 2010.

At that moment, the pope surprised the couple with offering to marry them right there on the plane.

Pope Francis became the first pope in history to marry a couple in the air.

"He asked: 'Are you sure?' 'Yes, of course!' we said".

It all started when the pair, Paula Podest Ruiz and Carlos Ciuffardi Ellorriaga, began chatting with the pontiff when they were seated next to him during a group photo shoot. Ciuffardi turned around and asked his boss, the CEO of the airline, to serve as witness.

"And that's why the marriage works", Ciuffardi said.

A travelling cardinal provided a hand-written religious marriage document on a single sheet of paper, which was signed by the bride, groom, and witness.

In a trip that has been less than positive for Pope Francis, there was a bit of a shock.

At one point during the ceremony Francis asked Ciuffardi if Podest is "still the boss". Ciuffardi laughed and answered, "Yes, she is".

"He told me it's historic, that there has never before been a pope who married someone aboard a plane", Ciuffardi told reporters.

Ciuffardi said the pope also told them: "This is the sacrament that is missing in the world, the sacrament of marriage".

The newlyweds plan to celebrate in Iquique for the night in a "tiny honeymoon" before returning to Santiago, CBS News reported. They fly back home Friday - with a remarkable story to tell.

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