Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fr. Kapaun Awarded Medal of Honor

Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war during the Korean War. The story of this priest and the lives he touched, and saved, is amazing and inspiring. I have been following Fr. Kapaun's story and anxiously awaiting this day when he would be recognized for his service and sacrifice.

This holy man spent 7 months in horrendous conditions in a POW camp. Yet, his love of God and concern for his fellow prisoners never wavered. One can only imagine the abuse he faced from his captors, who were unable to break his resolve or fight the hope he gave to other captives. Fr. Kapaun was eventually martyred by starvation and lack of medical treatment. He died on May 23, 1951.

As I watched the medal ceremony online, I was moved by the presence of men who knew Fr. Kapaun, including a veteran who's life the priest had saved. I was also struck by the irony of the award being given by the president, and man so very unlike Fr. Kapaun.

Contego over at Gabriel Possenti Shooters summed it up well:
I sensed that this priest, who may one day be canonized a Saint in the Catholic Church, was placed as a sign for us, and for the president. As he spoke the words, I wondered if they might be touching his heart, his soul - showing him what virtue is, what a real man does, how a faithful Christian serves God? I am certain Fr. Kapaun is to be canonized; to hear his actions described by a man who has no respect for the Catholic Church, who is actively pressing for Her destruction, who has no moral compass as he pushes for abortion in all forms, same sex marriage and other objectively evil things, my heart was touched, my eyes misty. Even coming from the mouth of one so distant from Mother Church and all that She teaches, Fr. Kapaun's story was still glorious!
It took 60 years for Fr. Kapaun to be awarded the Medal of Honor. However, his true reward will come when he is recognized as a member of the Church Triumphant. Named a Servant of God in 1993, the cause for Fr. Kapuan's canonization is ongoing. May the wait for his heavenly honor be not so long coming as his earthly award.

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