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Friday, February 5, 2010

Priest and hero

The latest issue of The Priest magazine has a feature on Father Emil Kapaun, a military chaplain from Wichita, Kan., who died with his troops during the Korean War.

Here's an excerpt of Priest editor Msgr. Owen F. Campion's piece:

Father Kapaun was among the chaplains sent to Korea to serve the troops. For a while everything worked in favor of the South Koreans and their American protectors. In fact, not only did this alliance drive the Communist North Koreans out of South Korea, but it pressed all the way to the Korean border with China.

Then, the bottom fell out. Surely fearing a complete end of Communism on the peninsula, China, by them Communist itself, poured its own troops into the fray. The American- South Korean forces were pushed back, almost into the surrounding seas.

It was at this time that Father Kapaun's unit was captured. With his comrades, he became a prisoner of war.

Prisoners of war are like any other prisoners. The greatest loss is freedom and the control of person. However, the Chinese-North Korean masters added special measures of horror to the lives of POWs.

It was in this horror that Father Kapaun was to spend the rest of the days of his life, and serve the rest of his priesthood.

It was in this time that he became a hero to his men and, to the believers among them, a saint.

Click HERE to read the entire story. See also the latest on Father Kapuan's canonization cause by clicking HERE.

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