Paula Podest and Carlos Ciufffardi after being married by Pope Francis during a flight from Santiago, Chile. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis just performed a wedding aboard the papal plane, a historic and unplanned moment near the end of his trip to Chile.

The midair ceremony Thursday for the two LATAM Airlines flight attendants came on the way from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique, according to the Italian news service ANSA.

The pair, identified by the Associated Press as Carlos Ciuffardi and Paola Podest, had told Francis during the flight that they’d had a civil ceremony but that their religious ceremony was put on hold because a 2010 earthquake in Chile had destroyed their church, according to ANSA.

It was then that Francis decided to perform the wedding. The Vatican told ANSA that the in-flight ceremony was “unexpected.”

Ciuffardi and Podest live together and have two children, according to ANSA.

The wedding came near the end of the pope’s visit to Chile. He will celebrate an open-air Mass on a beach in Iquique before departing for Peru on the last leg of his South America trip.

In general, popes travel on the national carriers of countries visited during trips. So in Chile, Francis is flying with LATAM.


Paula Podest and Carlos Ciufffardi kiss after being married by Pope Francis. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

Brian Murphy contributed to this report.