Skip to comments.Father Emil Kapaun: POWs call him 'a hero and a saint' (Part 7)
Posted on 12/12/2009 10:42:50 PM PST by GonzoII
He died because he loved and pitied us. He died that we might live. Father Emil Kapaun
The legend of Father Kapaun and the quest to elevate him to sainthood began in September 1953 as soon as Communist guards released prisoners at the end of the Korean War. A little band of fierce-looking Americans, with balding and blunttalking Ralph Nardella at their head, carried Emil Kapauns gold ciborium and a rugged wooden crucifix, an inch shy of four feet tall. They had risked their lives in a final act of defiance to bring those items across the fence line; the guards wanted to confiscate them, but Nardella and the others had threatened to stay in North Korea.
They walked directly to foreign correspondents covering the prisoner release and said they had a world-class story to tell. Within hours, wire services were sending it worldwide: the story of Father Kapaun, along with photos of Nardella, Joseph OConnor and Felix McCool holding the crucifix.
They told how hed had tobacco pipes shot out of his mouth as he dragged wounded off battlefields. They said he saved men on the Death March, washed the underwear of the sick, made pans out of roofing tin, stole food.
Maybe I shouldnt say it, OConnor said in a wire-service story that appeared in The Wichita Beacon, but he was the best food thief we had.
The stories appeared in papers around the world and made Kapaun an international hero.
Clarence Anderson, a doctor, told how Kapaun asked guards to forgive him even as they prepared his murder.
OConnor told how Kapaun celebrated Mass under fire, spreading bread and wine on the hood of his jeep, never flinching at explosions.
I am a Jew, Sidney Esensten, another doctor, told the reporters. But I feel deeply the...
(Excerpt) Read more at kansas.com ...
Thanks so much for posting this series of articles. Part of my family hails from little Catholic places in Western Kansas, like where Emil Kapaun came from. Not surprised at all that a saint would come from there.
You’re welcome; one more to go I think.