Fr. Emil Kapaun: Putting the Hero in Heroic Virtue


Tomorrow, pilgrims in Kansas will begin a 3-day, 60 mile walk from Wichita to the church of St. John Nepomucene Church in the tiny prairie town of Pilsen (pop. 40), the one-time parish of Fr. Emil Kapaun. The pilgrimage is meant as a spiritual (and physical) exercise for the participants, but also means to raise awareness of the cause for beatification of Fr. Kapaun which was opened in the early 1990s. That cause gained a boost in notoriety last year when President Obama awarded Fr. Kapaun the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War–service that ultimately cost Fr. Kapaun his life in a communist prison camp.

Fr. Kapaun’s remarkable story was brought to mind recently by this moving video from Chris Stefanick. (H/t, New Advent.) Watch it. And when you’re done, say a prayer for the pilgrims who will be hiking in Kansas this weekend,  for the cause of Fr. Kapaun’s beatification, and for his intercession.

Servant of God, Emil Kapaun, pray for us.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Stephen P. White is a fellow in the Catholic Studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His work focuses on the application of Catholic social teaching to a broad spectrum of contemporary political and cultural issues. Since 2005, Mr. White has been coordinator of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society: a three week seminar on Catholic social teaching, with an emphasis on the thought of Blessed John Paul II, which takes place every summer in Kraków, Poland. He studied politics at the University of Dallas and philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the St. Patrick's Evangelisation School in London, England.

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