According to a Catholic online publication, this beautiful little girl with Down syndrome got up from her seat during a papal audience and went towards Pope Francis during ministration.The security guards quickly moved in to take her back to her mother.
The Pope stopped everyone and said to the girl, “come sit next to me.” The girl then sat down near him and the Holy Father continued to preach while holding hands with the little girl.
Pope Francis has been known for his kind gestures in any country he visits in the world, Pope Francis also agreed to conduct his first wedding for a steward and stewardess, while flying between two Chilean cities on Thursday on a papal flight.
Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, who had a civil union eight years ago, told the pope that a religious ceremony that was to follow was canceled after their parish church in Santiago was heavily damaged in an earthquake in 2010.
However, the Pope had something else in mind when the couple asked him to bless their marriage.
“We told him that we are husband and wife. That we have two daughters and that we would have loved to receive his blessing. All of a sudden, he asked us if we were married for the Church too,” Ciuffardi told reporters afterwards on the plane, which was en route to the northern city of Iquique from Santiago.
”He liked us and he asked: ‘Do you want me to marry you?’ He asked: ‘Are you sure?,’” Podest said. “‘Yes of course,’ we said.”
The pope performed the brief ceremony in the front of the plane. Ignacio Cueto, president of Latam airlines, who was on board, was the witness.
An improvised marriage certificate was signed by the pope, the couple, Cueto and a bishop who was on the plane.
“Being married by a pope on board a flight is something priceless,” Podest said.
”I asked him: ‘Do you marry people?’ He said: ‘Yes, from time to time. I have married 40 couples. But never has a pope married somebody on a flight,” she said.
Though some reporters thought it was a joke, however, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke came out a minute later to confirm it all.
“Everything is valid. Everything is official,” he said. He later sent reporters a picture of the marriage certificate.
“We had a short and small ceremony. 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.
Podest told reporters and the pope that the couple had met on a flight when she was his boss, adding: “I am still his boss.”