Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 21 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Anselm of Canterbury
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope sheds light on the airplane wedding he officiated


Osservatore Romano | AFP

Aleteia - published on 01/22/18

Explains that he found the couple prepared to receive the sacrament

During Pope Francis’ return trip from Chile and Peru, one particular question from the reporters was inevitable. It was the most sensational moment from this trip: the moment when Pope Francis married two flight attendants on his flight to Iquiqué.

The question was almost obligatory: From now on, what would he say to pastors and bishops when couples ask to be married on the beach, at parks, on boats…?

“One of you told me that I’m crazy for doing these things,” Pope Francis said. “But it was simple.”

He went on: “The husband, the man, was on the first flight. She wasn’t. We spoke… then I realized that he had been checking out what I thought.

“We spoke about life, about what I thought about life and the family. Really, it was a beautiful conversation. The next day, both were there. When we took the photos, they told me that they had been at the point of getting married in the Church — they got legally married — the day before [their wedding] (you can tell it was a small city) the church had been destroyed by an earthquake. The wedding didn’t happen. This happened 8 or 10 years ago.


Read more:
Some cultural context to help us understand the wedding the pope officiated yesterday

“Yes, we’ll do it tomorrow, [they said], but then life happened, a daughter arrived, then the other daughter… ‘But we’ve always had this in our hearts, that we’ve never gotten married.’ I asked them some questions, and the answers were clear: [they wanted to be together] for the rest of their lives. ‘And how do you know these things? Do you remember your catechism classes well?’ ‘No, no, no. We took the wedding preparation course.’ They were ready. Pastors, let me tell you, they were ready, and I judged that they were ready.

“They asked me to do it. The sacraments are for people, and I saw that the conditions were clear, and why not do today what you can do today, right? Why put it off for tomorrow, because maybe tomorrow would have been eight more years. This is the answer. Because I felt they were ready and that they knew what they were doing. Also, one of them prepared before the Lord with the sacrament of penance, and I married them. And when they arrived here, it was all over, and they have gotten married.

They told me that they had told someone, ‘Let’s go to the pope so he can marry us.’ I don’t know if that was the intention or not. That’s how it was. But tell pastors that the pope examined them well, and … they told me that they had taken the course… But they were aware that they were in an irregular situation.”


Read more:
Pope marries 2 crew members as he flies to his last stop in Chile

Read more:
Love letters: A Church wedding after 30 years assists hearts “full of wonder…”

FamilyPope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.