Pope Francis Conducts Impromptu Marriage Ceremony Aboard Papal Plane

Pope Francis.OnoBello

It’s no big deal getting married way up in the sky but it’s pretty hard to beat being married by the Pope. This is exactly what happened on Thursday as Pope Francis joined two flight attendants in an impromptu holy matrimony in the papal plane.

Well, the whole episode started when the pair, Paula Podest Ruiz (bride) and Carlos Ciuffardi Ellorriaga (groom) began chatting with the pontiff when they were seated next to him during a group photo shoot. The Pope was on a short flight from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique.

The Pope asked if the pair were married and answered him that they had been scheduled to be wed when the 2010 Chile earthquake hit, destroying the church where they were to tie the knot.

The pair continued with their life and were married civilly, with the legal documents to prove it, but they’d never had a formal wedding ceremony before an official of the church.

The couple explained to journalists on the papal plane that it was the Popes’ idea to marry them. He first asked them, “Are you sure?” They responded, “Okay!”

According to the couple, Pope Francis blessed their rings and then said “we need a witness.” Ciuffardi turned around and asked his boss, the CEO of the airline, to serve as witness.

Then the Pope asked his cardinals to draft the paperwork. One cardinal aboard the flight drafted the wedding certificate on a piece of paper from the airline by hand. The document was signed by Pope Francis, the couple and the witness.

Pope Francis gave the bride a white rosary and the groom a black rosary.

The couple met at work with Podest as Ciuffardi’s boss. They have two children: Rafaela, 6, and Isabela, 3. The Pope asked Ciuffardi, “Is she still the boss?” Ciuffardi laughed and answered, “Yes, she is.”

Ciuffardi told reporters that the Pope told them, “This is the sacrament that is missing in the world, the sacrament of marriage. I hope this motivates couples around the world to marry.”

Podest was a bit quiet during the interview because she was still in shock. Both she and her new husband said they were overwhelmed with emotion.

See photos below:

Paula Podest Ruiz & Carlos Ciuffardi Ellorriaga

Paula Podest Ruiz & Carlos Ciuffardi Ellorriaga


The Handwritten Wedding Certificate

The Handwritten Wedding Certificate



Pope & the Couple

Pope & the Couple




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