SERVANT OF GOD
FATHER EMIL J. KAPAUN
Father proved himself to be the greatest example of manhood I've ever seen in my life.
- Captain Robert Burke, Fellow Prisoner of War
TAKE AN EXTENDED LOOK
AT our inspiration: fATHER kAPAUN
"The Story of Father Kapaun" is the first video in the Virtue Series. The video, featured at the 2016 Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, serves as an introduction to our inspiration and model, Father Emil Kapaun. While most of the videos in the Virtue Series run between 12-15 minutes, "The Story of Father Kapaun" deserved a longer treatment. We invite you to get to know this extraordinary man- we think you will be inspired by his down to earth but saintly example!
Father Emil Kapaun
"He was all man. All priest."
Kapaun's Men take their name from the heroic Catholic Priest and U.S. Army Chaplain Emil Joseph Kapaun. Born in the small farming community of Pilsen, Kansas, he became a hero of the Korean War. Captured while giving aid to wounded soldiers during battle, he died in a Prisoner of War Camp in 1951.
On the battlefield, along a 60-mile death march, and in the hellish prisoner camp, Father Kapaun saw it as his mission to assist and encourage his men in any way possible. He rallied his 'boys' to continue fighting to stay alive, both for themselves and each other. Although he was only with them for seven months, the surviving POWs testify that his selfless example was the inspiration they needed to keep each other alive during the next two and a half years of their imprisonment. One of Kapaun’s fellow prisoners of war sums it up well: “Father proved himself to be the greatest example of manhood that I’ve ever seen in my life.”
In 2013 Chaplain Kapaun was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest honor for bravery in battle, and in 2015 his cause for sainthood in the Catholic Church was presented to the Congregation for Saints in Rome, which is currently reviewing the first stages of it. We continue to pray that someday soon he will be named a saint!