Who needs a wedding dress, relatives, guests and a venue when you have got Pope Francis to perform the marriage ceremony? In a first, Pope Francis married two flight attendants on a papal flight in an impromptu ceremony at some 36,000 feet over Chile on Thursday.
Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, were on board and they started chatting with the Pope, who was travelling from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique in Chile. Pope asked them if they were married and the steward and stewardess said that they had civil union eight years ago, but never married before an official of the church.
The couple revealed that they had planned a church wedding in 2010 in the Chilean capital, Santiago, but the church was destroyed in an earthquake. After hearing their story, Pope asked the couple, "Do you want me to marry you?"
"We told him that we are husband and wife. That we have two daughters and that we would have loved to receive his blessing. All of a sudden, he asked us if we were married for the Church too," Ciuffardi told reporters later on the plane, according to Reuters.
The couple said that the Pope performed the brief ceremony, blessed their rings and called for a witness. Ciuffardi then asked Ignacio Cueto, the CEO of the airline, to become the witness. Pope asked his cardinals to draft an improvised marriage certificate which was signed by him, the couple, and the witness.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed the wedding and said, "Everything is valid. Everything is official." He even shared the photos of the wedding certificate with reporters on board.
"We had a short and small ceremony. He took our hands and he asked if there was love in our marriage and if we want to keep on being together all life long," Ciuffardi said.
Podest and Ciuffardi are planning to celebrate it with their co-workers and even plan to go on a honeymoon.