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World News

Biden meets with priest that delivered last rites to his son in emotional reunion

by Sophie Drew

US President Joe Biden experienced an emotional encounter at an Irish church when he unexpectedly met the priest who performed the last rites for his late son, Beau.

Father Richard Gibbons, who guided Biden on his visit to the Catholic shrine of Knock, revealed that the president was deeply moved upon learning that Father Frank O'Grady, an ex-US Army chaplain, was present at the shrine.

Speaking to the BBC, Gibbons said, "It just so happened, and this is spontaneous, that we have working at the shrine here the chaplain who gave the last rites, the last anointing, to his son in the United States."

Upon discovering O'Grady's presence at the shrine, Biden immediately asked a secret service agent to locate him.

The president was visibly emotional as they prayed together and lit a candle for his family.

"He [President Biden] wanted to meet him straight away, he dispatched a secret service agent to go and find him.

"He was crying; it really affected him and then we said a prayer, we said a decade of the rosary for his family, lit a candle and he took a moment or two of private prayer."

Father O'Grady recounted their heartfelt reunion and emphasized how faith continues to sustain the president during challenging times.

During Biden's three-day trip to Ireland, he also visited a County Mayo hospice dedicated to Beau Biden, taking a moment to reflect with his family before meeting the staff.

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