Fr. Kapaun with his pipe. Courtesy of the Diocese of Wichita.

Fr. Kapaun with his pipe. Courtesy of the Diocese of Wichita.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved another step in the possible canonization of Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun, a Catholic priest who died in a North Korean POW camp. This means that the committee assigned to his cause have evaluated documents in his case and have found no error and and will now review his writings and teachings for conformity with Church teaching.

If approved, a panel could vote to send his cause to the Holy Father for approval. One miracle must be approved for his beatification, and a second for his canonization.

Fr. Kapaun grew up on a farm in Kansas and was ordained a priest in 1940. He served as a U.S. Army chaplain from 1944 through 1946, then re-joined the military chaplaincy in 1948. He was sent to Korea in July 1950, where he became known for his service with the U.S. Army’s Eighth Cavalry regiment.

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He was captured by Chinese soldiers at Unsan in North Korea. As a prisoner, the priest carried a fellow prisoner sixty miles, even though the man weighed 20 pounds more than he did. He would celebrate the sacraments for fellow prisoners and say Mass while in the camp.

He died May 23, 1951 and was buried in a mass grave on the Yalu River after he developing a blood clot in his leg and contracting dysentery and pneumonia. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in April 2013.

So, do you think Fr. Kapaun will be canonized a saint? Take our poll below to let us know.

 

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