Servant of God Emil Kapaun

During the Korean War, as US armed forces and other members of the UN were defending Korea against Communist attack, Fr. Emil Kapaun served as a US Army chaplain. He had previously done the same thing in WWII, but this time his unit fared worse, getting captured by the Chinese and Korean Communists. They were placed in a POW camp that didn’t even vaguely acknowledge the Geneva Conventions.

Fr. Kapaun took it upon himself to keep his flock alive as well as keeping their morale up. He found them food and made them socks, as well as consoling them. He also inspired other soldiers to do likewise.

Fr. Kapaun eventually sprained his ankle. It became infected. The North Koreans provided no medical care and removed him from the helping hands of his fellow prisoners, sending him to a remote unheated cell to die. He passed away on May 23, 1951.

His fellow prisoners immediately hailed him as a saint.

His prayers have been credited with many miraculous cures, as well as other miracles, and his cause is progressing.

There were also many other Catholics martyred by the Korean Communists and the Communist Chinese, both before and during the Korean War. But they weren’t members of the US military, so I’m highlighting Fr. Kapaun for Memorial Day.

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