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Father Emil Kapaun: POWs call him 'a hero and a saint' (Part 7)
Wichita Eagle ^ | Dec. 12, 2009 | ROY WENZL

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 Kapaun’s 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 O’Connor and Felix McCool holding the crucifix.

They told how he’d 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 shouldn’t say it,” O’Connor 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.

O’Connor 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 ...

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: catholic; chaplain; koreanwar

Father Emil Kapaun: In Korea, Kapaun saves dozens during Chinese attack (Part 1)

Father Emil Kapaun: Through Death March, Father Kapaun perseveres and inspires (Part 2)

Father Emil Kapaun: In icy POW camps, Kapaun shares faith, provisions (Part 3)

Father Emil Kapaun: As hundreds die, Kapaun rallies the POWs (Part 4)

Father Emil Kapaun: Leads camp prisoners in quiet acts of defiance (Part 5)

Father Emil Kapaun forgives guards, welcomes death (Part 6)

1 posted on 12/12/2009 10:42:50 PM PST by GonzoII
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To: HOYA97


2 posted on 12/12/2009 10:43:10 PM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: All
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3 posted on 12/12/2009 10:43:54 PM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

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.

4 posted on 12/13/2009 12:01:04 AM PST by married21
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To: married21

You’re welcome; one more to go I think.

5 posted on 12/13/2009 2:14:49 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Thanks again

6 posted on 12/13/2009 1:38:22 PM PST by HOYA97 (Hoya Saxa = What Rocks)
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