ABC News’ Arlette Saenz reports:
Speaker John Boehner delivered the commencement address at Catholic University this morning, shedding a few tears while telling the graduates they should embody three virtues.
"Humility, patience and faith, and always a few tears from me," Boehner said.
Boehner teared up during a story about the morning of his leadership election in 2006, when he went to 7 a.m. mass and prayed for the Virgin Mary's guidance. When he thought he received no sign, he got a call from his former high school football coach, Gerry Faust, who went on to coach at Notre Dame.
"It was old Coach Faust," Boehner said choking up, "calling to wish me luck, and telling me you can do it. You know I've never gotten a call from the Blessed Mother before and I don't think I ever will, but I got to tell you it was pretty darn close."
Boehner also cried when the president of Catholic University conferred an honorary degree upon him.
Catholic University’s decision to invite Boehner to deliver the commencement address sparked criticism from prominent Catholic thinkers, who believe as a Catholic, Boehner has failed to help the poor during his time in office.
Boehner did not address the criticism in today’s speech, but said he lives his life to serve others.
“One of the students asked me, 'Well, what prayer do you say before you go to a meeting at the White House with the president?'” Boehner said. "Well, I always ask God for the courage and wisdom to do His will and not mine. Serving others — that's not just how I lead in Congress, it's how I lead my life.”