President Joe Biden cited Our Lady of Guadalupe and displayed his rosary beads in a conversation with the president of Mexico on Monday.
In the virtual conversation with Mexico’s President López Obrador, Biden—a Catholic—claimed a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe from his previous travels to Mexico as vice president.
“During my visits, I got to know Mexico a little bit and its people, and paid my respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe. As a matter of fact, I still have my rosary beads that my son was wearing when he passed,” Biden said according to a White House transcript of the event. He noted that he visited Mexico four times as vice president.
Biden has previously referenced his son Beau’s death from brain cancer as an incident where he relied upon his faith. In a 2020 campaign ad, he said that his faith supported him through tough times, noting that “I go to Mass and I say the rosary. I find it to be incredibly comforting.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe is patroness of the Americas, given the title by Pope St. John Paul II, and is also patroness of unborn children.
Biden is just the second Catholic U.S. president, and the U.S. bishops’ conference has noted the unique circumstance of having a Catholic president who upholds Church teaching on policies such as immigration and fighting poverty, but contradicts Church teaching on life issues, marriage, religious freedom, and gender ideology.
The USCCB formed a working group in November to advise the conference on how to deal with Biden; the working group made two chief recommendations before stopping its work in early February.
One of the recommendations was for USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez to send a letter to Biden that was pastoral in nature, but clarify areas of agreement and disagreement with the conference—especially his contradiction on the “preeminent” issue of abortion.
Biden has supported taxpayer-funded abortion and has pledged to sign the Equality Act, legislation the USCCB has warned would codify gender ideology in law and would “punish” objecting religious groups.