Pope Frances Marries Couple in Surprise Airplane Ceremony—Photos

After all, he is the "People's Pope."

photo of couple married on plane, by Paul Haring

Sometimes, the best miracle of all isn't a burning bush or water turning into wine (though we wouldn't turn down the latter). It's a kind gesture and a coincidence so small but so romantic that it makes you believe in fate.

Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, and Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, both of whom are flight attendants, met 8 years ago, and now share two children. Both Catholics, they wanted to get married in their local church in Chile, but when it was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake, they had to opt for a civil ceremony instead.

On Thursday, Pope Francis just happened to be on a plane flying from Santiago, Chile, to an open-air mass taking place in the northern coastal town of Iquiqe (sidenote: did anyone else know the Pope is one of those celebs who slums it up in commercial? People are under the impression he has his own plane, which is called "Shepherd One," but apparently that's just the code name for whatever commercial plane he happens to be on at the time. He does apparently get his own row in business class, though).

Anyway, when the couple met his holiness on the plane, they asked if he would bless their marriage. Because this pope is extra awesome, however, he did one better and personally wed them at the front of the plane, an airline exec and a Chilean bishop serving as witnesses.

A spokesperson for the Vatican told ABC that it's the first instance of a papal wedding on a plane. So that'll be one to tell the kids!

As for the couple, they had a clear message to journalists on the flight about how this extraordinary event made them feel:

"Marriage works…we hope it will promote marriage."

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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