Love is in the air - Pope Francis marries couple during Chile flight

POPE-CHILE

What might be deemed a seemingly bizzare-yet-sweet incident, actually took place on the papal plane, with Pope Francis marrying off two flight attendants, as his plane flew over Chile, on the third day of his South American trip. Pope asked them if they were married and the steward and stewardess said that they had civil union eight years ago, but never married before an official of the church.

Podest and Ciuffardi, who were working Thursday on the flight to the beachside town of Iquique, have two children, 6-year-old Rafaela and 3-year-old Isabela. That we have two daughters and that we would have loved to receive his blessing.

The pope was on his way from Santiago, Chile, to Iquique before heading to Peru later in the day.

However they were unable to conduct a sacramental marriage ceremony in their church in Santiago after it was damaged in an natural disaster in 2010. After hearing their story, Pope asked the couple, "Do you want me to marry you?" All of a sudden he asked us if we were married in the church, too. He first asked them, "Are you sure?"

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A stunned Podest was almost speechless during the remaining hour on the flight as she recounted the story to the 70 or so journalists who travel with the pope on his foreign trips. To the reporters, Paula revealed the advice that the Bishop of Rome told them, "The wedding rings shouldn't be too tight, because they'll torture you, but if they're too loose, they'll fall off".

At the end of the in-flight ceremony, the employees also co-signed a handwritten marriage certificate that bore the pope's signature, "Francis".

Pope Francis brought his motorcade to a halt to check on a police officer who fell from her rearing horse along the route.

"We have received the best possible wedding gift and we are very lucky", said Ruiz.

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