- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota newlyweds who traveled to Rome for their honeymoon had their nuptials blessed by Pope Francis.

Kraig Kronaizl and the former Morgan Peck were married Aug. 7 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls, the Yankton Press & Dakotan (http://bit.ly/1YnW3mY ) reported.

The Kronaizls learned that the Pope generally holds a Wednesday audience when he is at the Vatican and that he blesses newlyweds at the conclusion of his sermon.

They joined a few dozen couples in line as Pope Francis moved from couple to couple to offer a personal blessing. The official Vatican photographer even snapped a picture of the meeting and gave a copy to the Kronaizls.

“It was a wonderful experience, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” Kraig Kronaizl said.

Morgan Kronaizl learned of the chance for a papal blessing when the couple was planning their honeymoon in Rome.

“About a year and a half ago, I saw some pictures from a Facebook friend. She posted a picture of her with the Pope after her wedding,” she said. “I thought, ‘I have to inquire about this.’ I started looking around on the Internet and found out how to get to meet the pope as a newlywed.”

She had to contact church officials ahead of time to make arrangements and follow a time frame for the blessing.

“There is the opportunity (for a blessing) if you are within two months of your sacramental marriage in the church,” Morgan Kronaizl said. “The (Pontifical) North American College of Cardinals arranges the tickets for the papal audience. You sit in the front and get to greet the Pope.”

The Kronaizls met four years ago in Vermillion through friends.

Kraig Kronaizl received degrees from Augustana University in Sioux Falls and the University of South Dakota Law School in Vermillion. He practiced law in Yankton before joining a Sioux Falls firm. Morgan Kronaizl, a Sioux Falls native, received both her bachelor’s and law degrees from USD. She recently completed a clerkship with the Second Circuit Court.

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Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/

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