By Ryan Teague Beckwith
September 25, 2015

It’s no secret that John Boehner viewed the fact that he brought Pope Francis to Congress as one of his signature achievements as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Ohio Republican told two Washington reporters that he had nothing left to accomplish after bringing the pope to the Capitol, according to a story in Politico Friday, and he was teary and visibly broken up throughout the visit Thursday. When Boehner announced his resignation to his Republican colleagues Friday, he paid tribute to the pope’s namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, by reading “The Prayer of Saint Francis.”

Here is that prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Aside from the connection to Pope Francis, the prayer is also fitting for a resignation announcement, as it speaks of acceptance and keeping the broader picture in mind. Boehner’s predecessor, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, also cited it when she began her speakership in 2007.


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