It was already a special circumstances situation: they had hoped to have a church ceremony when they married in 2010 but their parish church in the capital, Santiago, was badly damaged by an 8.8 earthquake. Instead they had a civil ceremony but a happy life having since two children.
The Pope performing the ceremony
On board the papal flight, the couple initially asked the Pope to bless their civil marriage, but he went one step further. “He liked us and he asked: ‘Do you want me to marry you?’ The president of the airline, who was on board the flight, acted as the witness. The couple received a handwritten marriage certificate whith the Pope’s signature. Ms Podest described the brief ceremony as “so emotional” and “the experience of a lifetime.” She said she had met her husband on a flight. Churches in Chile have been fire-bombed during the Pope’s visit and graffiti scrawled on one church in Santiago read: “Burn the Pope.”