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Pope Francis rushes to the aid of a stricken policewoman
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Pope Francis rushes to the aid of a stricken policewoman

This is the incredible moment Pope Francis brought his motorcade to a halt to check on a policewoman who had been thrown from her horse.

Francis descended from his popemobile after celebrating Mass in Iquique, Chile, to check on the officer, who was on guard while Francis and his entourage passed by.

The horse reared up violently as the vehicle approached and the officer tumbled off. 

The motorcade was forced to take evasive action and swerved to avoid the animal. 

Pope Francis' motorcade was travelling through the Chilean city of Iquique when a policewoman guarding the procession on horseback was thrown from the animal

Pope Francis' motorcade was travelling through the Chilean city of Iquique when a policewoman guarding the procession on horseback was thrown from the animal

Francis immediately spotted the incident and stepped down from his motorcade to help the stricken policewoman 

Francis immediately spotted the incident and stepped down from his motorcade to help the stricken policewoman 

Francis was flanked by security guards as he stepped off his vehicle to check on the police officer

Francis was flanked by security guards as he stepped off his vehicle to check on the police officer

Francis, flanked by security guards, calmly stepped down from the motorcade and stood by the woman until an ambulance arrived with a stretcher and took her away.

Francis then resumed his ride.

The Vatican said the woman was conscious 'and received some words of consolation from the Holy Father'.  

Earlier in the day Francis made history when he performed a wedding ceremony for two flight attendants onboard a plane in mid-flight.

Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, were wed at 36,000ft, were wed at a civil ceremony eight years ago but asked Francis to bless their marriage.

Their original plans for a religious ceremony at their parish church near Santiago were ruined when the church was destroyed in an 8.8 magnitude earthquake which also triggered a tsunami, killing 500 in total. 

While Pope Francis was on board on Thursday the pair asked him to bless the union, prompting him to ask: 'Are you married?'

When they explained the situation, he followed up by asking if they wanted to get married, according to NCR.

The Vatican said the woman was conscious 'and received some words of consolation from the Holy Father'

The Vatican said the woman was conscious 'and received some words of consolation from the Holy Father'

The Pope then got back on the popemobile and continued on his tour

The Pope then got back on the popemobile and continued on his tour

Pope Francis was visiting Chile as part of a two-nation tour and will now fly to Peru

Pope Francis was visiting Chile as part of a two-nation tour and will now fly to Peru

'Well, yes, but are you sure?' the couple asked him. With a smile he responded: 'Are you sure?' 

The couple then stood at the front of the plane while Francis performed the service, witnessed by Ignacio Cueto, the president of LATAM airlines.

'Everything is valid. Everything is official,' said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke. 'We will show you a picture of the document later.' 

An image of the handwritten document lists Igancio as the witness and 'el Papa Francisco' as the officiator.  

During his visit to Chile Francis has held Mass for thousands of people while calling on the country to remain open and welcoming to migrants. 

Francis has also addressed the church sex abuse scandal that had badly damaged the reputation of the church in the country.

His visit has been marred by arson attacks on at least ten church buildings. He will now travel on to Peru.

Francis carried out the ceremony during his journey between Santiago and Iquique during his three-day visit to Chile

Francis carried out the ceremony during his journey between Santiago and Iquique during his three-day visit to Chile

After the ceremony Ruiz and Elorriga shared a kiss in front of other passengers before posing for pictures at 36,000ft

After the ceremony Ruiz and Elorriga shared a kiss in front of other passengers before posing for pictures at 36,000ft

The marriage certificate showing it was witnessed by Ignacio Cueto and officiated by 'el Papa Francisco', with his small signature bottom right

The marriage certificate showing it was witnessed by Ignacio Cueto and officiated by 'el Papa Francisco', with his small signature bottom right