On the way to his third and last mass in Chile, before travelling to Perú for another four-day pastoral trip, Francis became the first Pope in history to marry a couple during a flight.
The two flight attendants had already performed the civic ceremony; nonetheless, the religious event was scheduled for 27 February, 2010, the day in which an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country.
As the church they had chosen collapsed, the wedding could not take place and the deed was postponed indefinitely.
Given that the pontiff was on the plane and they were present at the moment, they asked Francis if he could marry them and bless their union, petition the Pope accepted.
The bishop of Rome asked them if they were sure about their decision. After that, Francis informed both of them that he needed a witness, with Latam’s CEO, Ignacio Cueto, stepping up.
💍Paula Podest 👰🏼 y Carlos Ciuffardi 🤵🏼 contrajeron matrimonio en pleno vuelo hacia #Iquique. ¡Agradecemos a @Pontifex_es por realizar por primera vez un matrimonio a bordo! #ElVueloDeFrancisco #FranciscoEnChile pic.twitter.com/v4ClkRkMGJ
— LATAM Chile (@LATAM_CHI) 18 de enero de 2018
The happy couple, Paula Podest and Carlos Ciuffardi, said to be “happy” and assured that they intend to spend the rest of their lives together. “That’s what we expect”, Podest added.
Francis ordered a marriage certificate to be written, document he signed along with Cueto, Podest and Ciuffardi. He gave a black rosary to the groom and a white one to the bride as wedding gifts.
— Matilde Burgos (@matiburgos) 18 de enero de 2018