Emil Kapaun — priest, soldier and Korean War hero — is a rare man. He is being considered by the White House for a Medal of Honor and by the Vatican for canonization as a saint. As remarkable as this double honor are the non-Catholic witnesses who attest to Father Kapaun’s heroism: the Protestants, Jews and Muslims who either served with the military chaplain in the thick of battle or endured with him the unbelievably brutal conditions of a prisoner of war camp. As journalists Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying discovered, all of these Korean War veterans, no matter their religion, agree that Father Kapaun did more to save lives and maintain morale than any other man they know.
Then there are the alleged miracles — the recent healings attributed to Father Kapaun’s intercession that defy scientific explanation. Under investigation by the Vatican as a necessary step in the process of canonization, these cures witnessed by non-Catholic doctors are also covered in this book.
In tracking down the story of Father Kapaun for the Wichita Eagle, Wenzl and Heying uncovered a paradox. Kapaun’s ordinary background as the son of Czech immigrant farmers in Kansas sowed the seeds of his greatness. His faith, generosity and grit began with his family’s humility, thrift and hard work.
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