Buzz on Kapaun’s Cause

There have been a few articles in the local press out in Kansas and Illinois about a Vatican investigator showing up to look into the possibility of a miracle attributed to Fr. Emil Kapaun.  The American Korean War Army chaplain was a Wichita diocese native. 

Actually, one of the articles notes the investigator will be looking at several such cases, but the focus seems to be on one in particular — the recovery of a young Kansas man who had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a pole vaulting accident.   One of those apparently supporting the idea of the recovery being unexplainable by medical science is the neurosurgeon that treated the young man.

Full article here.   A clip on Kapaun:

Kapaun was a chaplain assigned to the U.S. Army’s 8th Cavalry regiment, which was surrounded and overrun by the Chinese army in North Korea in October and November 1951.

Kapaun became a hero, rescuing wounded soldiers from the battlefield and risking death by preventing Chinese executions of wounded Americans too injured to walk.

He became a hero again in prison camp, stealing food for prisoners, ministering to the sick, saying the rosary for soldiers, defying guards’ attempts to indoctrinate soldiers, making pots and pans out of roofing tin so that soldiers could boil snow into drinking water and boil lice out of their filthy clothing.

Hundreds of American prisoners died in the camp of exposure or starvation or illness that first winter. The Chinese guards did nothing to tend Kapaun when he became sick; he died in May 1951, two years before the war ended.

Soldiers who survived have praised Kapaun for decades; some of them have said he deserved not only sainthood but the Medal of Honor, in addition to the lesser Distinguished Service Cross the Army awarded him after his death.

A site dedicated to promoting his cause is here.


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