The Pope Married 2 Flight Attendants Mid-flight

Jan 18, 2018 at 2:18 p.m. ET
Image: Sebastián Vivallo Oñate/Agencia Makro/Getty Images

Ready for your daily dose of feel-good news today? Well, here it is: The pope officiated a wedding between two flight attendants 30,000 feet up in the air.

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The two LATAM flight attendants, Carlos Ciuffardi and Paola Podest, found themselves on the same flight as Pope Francis (and his entourage), who happened to be on his tour of the South American nation. On a flight from Santiago, Chile, to the northern city of Iquique, the pope asked the couple if they were married. They told him they were, that they had joined through civil ceremony, but were not formally married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

According to CBS News, Ciuffardi and Podest explained to the pope that they had planned a lavish church ceremony in February of 2010, but a massive earthquake struck in Chile, causing the church they were to wed in to collapse on their wedding day.

Leave it to the pope to ask them if they wanted him to conduct the ceremony right there on the plane, to which they said yes.

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And that he did: Pope Francis blessed their rings, and the couple kissed to seal their union.

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"We can't believe the pope married us," the groom said. "A pope has never married anyone on a plane. We have a Vatican document; it's all valid."

The chairman of LATAM served as the official witness to the wedding, and an accompanying Chilean cardinal drafted the legal document for the marriage by hand. The pope gave the bride and groom gifts as well: a white rosary for Podest and a black rosary to Ciuffardi.

"This is what's missing in the world," Pope Francis told the couple, "the sacrament of marriage. I hope this motivates couples to marry."

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Here's to the newly married couple, who plan to have a "tiny honeymoon" in Santiago, where they live with their two children.

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