05/23/2022 – Servant of God Emil Joseph Kapaun
Servant of God Emil Joseph Kapaun was born into a devout Czech family on a farm in Kansas.
Throughout his growing years he learned to work and pray, especially the rosary within his family.
As an altar boy , he developed a great love of the Holy Mass and felt a strong call to priesthood.
As a priest he became an army chaplain in WWII and then again in the Korean war. The thousands of soliders who testified to his heroic virtue seemed to cite, Fr Kapuan’s reverence when celebrating Mass often using a Jeep or camp table for an altar, his bravery under fire and the evenings when he gathered the soldiers (of all faiths and none) for the rosary, lingering after to be available for confession and counsel.
They also talked about his bravery, he was unwilling to leave a wounded soldier on the field and would drag them to safety or if it were too late or it was impossible, he would take the time to confess and anoint the soldier under fire.
In Korea, when his battalion found itself behind enemy lines, Fr Kapaun could have escaped but he stayed with the wounded. In the prison camp, he defied his captors, and gathered his men for the rosary at every opportunity. He shared whatever he had, food, water, encouragement and blessing.
He became the target of the most savage punishments for this. But when he finally succumbed to this torture, he left behind soldiers equipped to survive through the prayers especially the rosary, he had taught them.
Servant of God Emil Kapaun, please pray for us.