Pope Francis married two cabin crew members in a completely impromptu wedding, which took place on a flight which took the pontiff and his crew between two Chilean cities. Paula Podest and her now husband Carlos Ciuffardi had been married in a civil service, but their planned religious ceremony was ruined when a 2010 earthquake nearly destroyed their church Santiago, Chile.
When the couple saw the Pope aboard the plane, they decided to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the couple asked Francis to bless their marriage. He not only did that, but asked the couple if they wanted him to marry them right there on that plane, while mid-air. Podest and Ciuffardi were surprised to say the least, but of course said yes, and Francis performed a brief ceremony at the front of the plane. An airline executive was the official witness and a document was signed by a Chilean bishop on board.
As wedding gifts, Francis gave the bride a white rosary and the groom a black one. He asked Ciuffardi if his wife was still the boss; Ciuffardi laughed and said yes. The pope told the couple: “This is what’s missing in the world, the sacrament of marriage. I hope this motivates couples to marry.”
Wedding stories really don’t get more impressive than that! Congrats to the happy couple.