They met when they were both nuns of Franciscan order, during a pilgrimage. Isabel from south America and Federica from south Italy, both aged 44, saw their love growing slowly day after day, while working together in a rehabilitation center. They both devoted their entire lives to charitable work but they had to abandon the order and bedefrockedin order to finally follow their call for love. The two women were in Africa when they took the decision and had to fly back to Italy to follow the laicisation process. They got married in Pinarolo, near Turin, on Wednesday in one of the first same-sex civil unions celebrated in the country.

The wedding was originally planned for Thursday but was secretly anticipated to avoid journalists and confusion.

United against polemics

"God wants people to be happy, living their love under the sun" confided Isabel to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, while Federica echoed “we're asking our church to welcome all people who love each other". Obviously the union is sparking outrage in the catholic church, which has strongly opposed the legislation that allows the same-sex civil unions in Italy. Nonetheless the two are determined to defend their choice and announced they will also have a religious ceremony that will be officiated by an excommunicated priest, Don Franco Barbero. Don Barbero was suspended a divinis by the Pope in 2003 and has celebrated 19 homosexual weddings this year.

Don Barbero also toldthe press“I must add, for the record, that it is not the first time that I happen to marry two sisters,”. The newly weds said that "even if we have left the convent, we haven’t left the church and we haven’t forgotten our faith”. The couple will live together in a house in the same city that saw them marrying, Pinerolo.Local mayor Luca Salvai, who officiatedthe civil ceremony said "It was a simple wedding and I'm happy I helped them in realizing their dream". All wecansay is thatit definitely looks like a match made in heaven.