A real Irish American: Joe Biden with his late mother Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan Biden

Vice President Joe Biden eulogized his mother Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan Biden as a true Irish American at her funeral mass today in Wilmington, Delaware.

He said his mother was "the sole spirit and essence of what it meant to be an Irish-American mother.

She was "devoted to her Roman Catholic faith, proud of her Irish heritage, fiercely, fiercely protective of her family, deeply committed to her husband and always loyal to her friends."

He said that his mother taught all her children that a family's blood was the thickest substance on earth.

Jean Biden, whose family came from Mayo, died last week at age 92. Her son, the Vice President brushed away tears as the coffin bearing her remains were brought from the church.

He often talked of her influence on him including teaching him Irish history. He learned about the infamous Black and Tans at his mother's knee and often cited Wolfe Tone, the Irish revolutionary, as his political hero.

President Obama was there to lay a comforting hand on the Vice President's shoulder as was former President Bill Clinton. Also present was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many of Biden's former colleagues from the U.S. Senate.

After the service, Biden walked down the aisle with President Obama, who put an arm around the vice president's back. The president and first lady Michelle Obama also greeted the extended Biden family at the back of the church.