- Pope Francis married two flight attendants on a papal flight from Santiago to Iquique, Chile on January 18.
- Carlo Ciuffardi Elorriga and Paula Podest Ruiz had a civil marriage already.
- But they missed the religious service because of an earthquake in 2010.
- A video of the shell-shocked and excited couple emerged of them telling journalists how the story unfolded.
Pope Francis married two airline employees in an impromptu midair wedding during a flight from Santiago to Iquique, Chile.
Carlo Ciuffardi Elorriga and Paula Podest Ruiz, who work for the airline Latam, were doing a shift as cabin crew when the unplanned ceremony took place.
It began when Francis found out that they had been married in a civil ceremony in 2010, but could not go through with their religious ceremony because a 2010 earthquake had damaged the site of their planned ceremony in Santiago.
In a video Elorriga and Ruiz pose for photos, and the surprised groom begins to excitedly tell journalists the story of how it happened.
“The pope married us, the pope married us,” he said. “He took my hands and said if you want to marry I can marry you.”
“We told him that we are husband and wife. That we have two daughters and that we would have loved to receive his blessing. All of a sudden he asked us if we were married by the church too.
“We couldn’t get married by the church because the day we were supposed to get married (in the religious ceremony) it was the earthquake of 2010. It was a Saturday.”
“He liked us and he asked do you want me to marry you?”
Don Ignacio Cueto, chairman of Latam airlines, stood in as the couple’s witness.
“We had a short and small ceremony,” Elorriga told journalists with his wife Ruiz by his side. “He took our hands and he asked if there was love in our marriage and if we want to keep on being together all lifelong. I am getting emotional as I say it. It is not easy. We said yes.”
The couple said that they met at work years ago, when Ruiz was his boss.
“I am still his boss,” she said.
The smiling, shell-shocked couple then kissed for the cameras.
— Catholic News Service (@CatholicNewsSvc) January 18, 2018
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed that the pope had married the couple in a religious ceremony.
“Something totally extraordinary happened today which was that the hostesses and the stewards going to get their photos taken and one said ‘we are a couple, we met on a plane eight years ago.’
“That’s all they said, and I said, oh that’s interesting. And as they walked back said that the Pope married them in a religious ceremony.
He added that it was something that has “never happened on a papal plane before.”
“They were super happy. The first time the Pope heard about it was this morning too, it’s not like it was part of the plan.”
And they’ve even got a hand-written official document to prove it.
A Vatican photo of the hand-written document, signed by Pope Francis, attesting to the wedding aboard the papal plane of Paula Podest Ruiz and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga https://t.co/U94anQ0T34 pic.twitter.com/Gig2s27hND
— Joshua McElwee (@joshjmac) January 18, 2018