Friday, April 12, 2013

Praising the Valor of Medal of Honor Recipient Fr. Emil Kapaun

President Obama Giving Medal of Honor to Fr. Kapaun's nephew Ray
Father Emil Kapaun is a Kansas born US Army Chaplain who was post-humously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor six decades after his death in a North Korean prisoner of war camp. Fr. Kapuan is the fifth Catholic chaplain who has been given the Nation’s highest honor.  Fr. Kapaun has been recognized as a Servant of God, meaning that a case has been opened at the Vatican to explore beatification.

 Fr. Kapaun’s Congressional Medal of Honor was presented to his nephew Ray.  President Obama's  remarks at the award ceremony captured the valor which Fr. Kapaun displayed as well as demonstrating the value of the chaplaincy to the troops, especially in the duress of enemy

captivity. ***
Statue of Chaplain Kapaun, Pilsen, Kansas
What jumped out from this tribute was the observation from one of his POW comrades was how Fr. Kapaun’s very presence could make a mudhole seem like a cathedral.  The presence of a positive and faithful priest gives a glimpse of the Kingdom of God so the the mundane transcends into the magical.

 The humility, self-sacrifice and ridicule which Fr. Kapaun displayed followed the hard teachings of the Messiah is inspiring.  And the hope that Fr. Kapuan instilled in the internment camp gave them a reason to survive their hellish treatment by the enemy mirrors Passiontide. It is sad that the public has been conditioned to bemoan the tragedies of warfare without really appreciating the heroics of our brave troops, particularly from a chaplain 62 years later. May we all be inspired by the valor which Fr. Kapaun displayed on the field of battle and suffering in prison for righteousness.  And may we remember that we have a G.I. intercessor in heaven.

Army Chaplain Fr. Kapuan offering Mass on the Korean battlefield, Oct. 1950
Lord Jesus, in the midst of the folly of war, your servant, Chaplain Emil Kapaun, spent himself in total service to you on the battlefields and in the prison camps of Korea, until his death at the hands of his captors. We now ask you, Lord Jesus, if it be your will, to make known to all the world the holiness of Chaplain Kapaun and the glory of his complete sacrifice for you by signs of miracles and peace. In your name, Lord, we ask, for you are the source of peace, the strength of our service to others, and our final hope. Amen.
Chaplain Kapaun, pray for us.


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