‘We must restore the soul of America,’ was a line he used many times in his campaign speeches and one he repeated in his first address as the president-elect.
Biden, who goes to church nearly every Sunday morning and attended mass on Election Day, carries a rosary with him that belonged to his late son Beau Biden.
During his speech on Saturday night, as part of his appeal for the nation to come together after the presidential campaign, he quoted his favorite hymn: ‘On Eagles Wings.’
Joe Biden will be the second Catholic president in American history and made his faith a centerpiece to his address to the nation on Saturday night
Joe Biden leaves St. Joseph On the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington in October – he often attends mass there when he is in Delaware
Joe and Jill Biden leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington on Election Day; Biden’s son Beau is buried there
‘In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America,’ Biden said.
He said he hoped it could bring comfort to the families who lost a loved one to COVID, which has taken the lives of more than 237,000 Americans.
‘I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well,’ he said.
He then quoted the words of the song, which are based on Psalm 91, Book of Exodus 19, and Gospel of Matthew 13:
‘And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.’
Biden closed his speech by asking the country to come together.
‘And now, together — on eagle’s wings — we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do,’ he said. ‘With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be. A nation united.’
Catholics made up 22 per cent of the electorate in the 2020 election and were nearly split down the middle between Biden and President Donald Trump, according to AP VoteCast – Trump got 50 per cent of the Catholic vote while 49 per cent went with Biden.
President Barack Obama kisses Vice President Joe Biden on the cheek as he hugs him after delivering the eulogy during the funeral of Biden’s son Beau at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilmington in June 2015
Joe Biden is seen with his son Beau in July 2009 at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad – Beau died in 2015 of brain cancer and Joe Biden carries a rosary belonging to his son
Biden talks frequently about his faith and how it helped him overcome the personal tragedies in his life, including the death of his wife and daughter in a 1972 car crash and in 2015, when his son Beau died from cancer.
He attends St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church in Wilmington, where his son Beau is buried as his first wife and their daughter. In Washington D.C., he goes to mass at St. John’s Church in Georgetown. Speaker Nancy Pelosi also goes to mass there when she is town.
He and Jill were married by a Catholic priest on June 17, 1977, at the Chapel at the United Nations in New York City.
‘Keep the faith,’ is a mantra Biden repeats often and one he will likely use in the White House.
In 2008, as vice-president elect and shortly before his inauguration, Biden and his family attended mass and received communion at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the same Roman Catholic church President John F. Kennedy attended just hours before his inauguration. Kennedy was the nation’s first Catholic president.