Pope Francis performs papal marriage ceremony aboard flight in Chile


Police detain a protester dressed as a priest as Pope Francis arrives in Santiago Chile on Monday

But that's what happened Thursday morning when Pope Francis married two flight attendants in an impromptu ceremony on his papal plane some 36,000 feet over Chile.Vatican officials say it marks the first time a pope has married a couple on a papal plane.

Ciuffardi told journalists aboard the flight that, after he explained their story, he asked the pope for their blessing. He also revealed what the pope told them, "This is the sacrament that is missing in the world, the sacrament of marriage".

Who needs a wedding dress, relatives, guests and a venue when you have got Pope Francis to perform the marriage ceremony? "I'll do it for this reason".

"We always wanted to get married in the eyes of the church and it was something that was pending, but we never thought it would be the Pope that would do it". Are you sure?' Then the pope said, "Are YOU sure?' I told him, 'Yes!"

Francis is wrapping up his visit to Chile in Iquique, where he celebrated Mass for members of the city's growing immigrant community before heading to Peru.

An off the cuff marriage certificate was signed by the pope, the couple, and a bishop who was on the plane Cueto.

According to journalists traveling with the Pope, the couple - Paula Podesta and Carlos Ciuffardi - went to the Pope during the January 18 flight to ask for his blessing.

She said Francis offered a bit of advice to the not-so-newlyweds: "The wedding rings shouldn't be too tight, because they'll torture you, but if they're too loose, they'll fall off".

After applause - and a breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants, coffee and tea - the plane landed in Iquique and the couple bid the passengers farewell. "He took our hands and he asked if there was love in our marriage and if we want to keep on being together all life long", Ciuffardi said.

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