ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO
IQUIQUE, Chile (CNS) -- Love was literally in the air as Pope Francis performed an
impromptu wedding ceremony at 36,000 feet aboard his flight in Chile.
During his flight to Iquique Jan. 18, the pope was approached by LatAm flight steward Carlos
Ciuffardi Elorriaga and asked for a blessing for him and his wife, stewardess Paula Podest Ruiz.
The couple were supposed to be
married in their home parish in Santiago Feb. 27, 2010. However, tragedy struck when an
earthquake destroyed the church. Eight years later, they remained only civilly
Ciuffardi told journalists
aboard the flight that, after he explained their story, he asked the pope for
At that moment, the pope
surprised the couple with offering to marry them right there on the plane.
said the pope asked the couple, "Well, do you want to get married?"
said, 'Well, yes. Are you sure?' Then the pope said, "Are YOU sure?' I
told him, 'Yes! Let's get married,'" Ciuffardi recalled excitedly.
newlywed said he asked his boss and president of LatAm airline, Ignacio Cueto,
to be his best man and one of the Vatican prelates drew up a handwritten
pope said it was historic! Never has a pope performed a wedding on a
plane!" Ciuffardi said.
The pope was on his way from
Santiago, Chile, to Iquique before heading to Peru later in the day.