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Pope Francis marries couple aboard papal plane
Crew members Paula Podest and Carlos Ciuffardi smile after being married by Pope Francis during the flight between Santiago and the northern city of Iquique on Thursday. Pope Francis married the couple during the flight to Iquique where he will celebrate an open-air mass on the beach before leaving for Peru on the last leg of his South American trip. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis marries couple aboard papal plane

Pope Francis performed a wedding ceremony Thursday for two flight attendants aboard a plane while he travelled between two Chilean cities, Reuters reported.

What happened?

According to Reuters, while en route to Iquique, Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, both flight attendants working for a Chilean airline, told the pope they had been married in a civil service in 2010 but had been unable to have a church ceremony because their parish in Santiago was heavily damaged in the country’s 2010 earthquake.

The couple asked him to bless their marriage — but Francis had another idea.

“Do you want me to marry you?” he reportedly asked them.

“Here?” they asked in response.

The pope answered affirmatively and performed a brief wedding ceremony in the front of the plane. An airline executive acted as witness and a Chilean bishop also onboard signed a document for the couple.

“Everything is valid. Everything is official,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters. “We will show you a picture of the document later.”

The Associated Press called the event “the first-ever airborne papal wedding.”

Pope Francis, a native of Argentina, is on a two-country, six-city apostolic visit to his home continent. The weeklong visit started started in Chile on Monday and will end in Peru.

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