Praying for the Persecutors of the Church

Tucked away at the front of Father Kapaun's Liturgical Rite book is a small leaflet from the Apostleship of Prayer inviting people to join with the Holy Father's prayer intentions for the month.  This one is for November 1939, shortly after World War II had started.  In it, we can see a glimpse of the teachings that formed Father Kapaun and prepared him for his future mission in the Prison Camps of Korea.

"General Intention for November, 1939

Recommended by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII


Former General Intentions bade us take up the arms of prayer against false doctrines and their baneful effects.  Then we prayed that mankind be delivered from the evils of the new paganism.  Now we would use these same spiritual weapons to safeguard the authors of these evils against God's just anger.  Thus we would obey our Divine Lord's injunction: 'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you.'  Let us re-echo our dying Saviour's prayer: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'

Like her Divine Founder, the Church wishes not the death of the sinner but rather that he be converted and live, not the execution of the persecutor but that like Saul he, being converted, may become another Paul lovingly to proclaim Christ and His Mystical Body.  The enemies of Christ and His Church disseminate hatred and disunion; the Church, like Christ, would unite all men in fraternal charity as sons and daughters of the one Heavenly Father.


If the spirit of Christ be in us as true sons and daughters of His Church, such will be not only our prayer but also our every thought, word, and deed towards all, especially to those who hate and persecute us."


The Apostleship of Prayer still promotes the Holy Father's intentions and offers reflections on them: 

Letter from Bishop Carroll

January 12th is the anniversary of Bishop Mark Carroll's death.  Bishop Carroll was Father Kapaun's Bishop and allowed him to re-enter the military service.  Father Kapaun kept up regular correspondence with his bishop, and here is one of the letters that Bishop Carroll wrote.  As you can see, Bishop Carroll was promoting Father Kapaun's witness even while he was still alive!

Letter from pdf Bishop Carroll to Father Kapaun (1.47 MB)

Christmas Thoughts

I often wonder what was going through the POW's minds that first Christmas after they had been captured. Some would have made it to the Prison Camp, others were still being marched to the there. I wonder if the reality of the situation had set in yet. I am sure many were still hoping for the promised end of the war that


Comments on the Positio Presentation

By Father John Hotze

As you may have heard, on Nov. 9, 2015, Bishop Kemme presented the positio to the Congregation for Saints in Rome. The positio is the Church’s official document concerning Father Kapaun’s life of heroic virtue and sanctity. Now, the Congregation for Saints can begin their work on the review of Father Kapaun’s life. Hopefully, the Congregation may then make a recommendation affirming his sanctity to the Holy Father.

Unfortunately, some of the news reports have implied that we are disappointed by the outcome of the events or that the case has been placed on hold. We at the Office for Beatification of Father Kapaun are by no means disappointed or discouraged by the events of the last couple of weeks. Granted, it would have been nice if the Congregation for Saints was able to drop everything to study Father Kapaun’s Cause immediately, but unfortunately, that is not a possibility.


The Year of Father Kapaun Booklet

Bishop Kemme to Cardinal Amato on Fr. Kapaun's Cause

November 1,2015
Solemnity of All Saints

His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Amato S. D. B.
Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Vatican City State
Rome, Italy

Your Eminence,

It is my pleasure to express to your Eminence fraternal greetings of peace and love.  These sentiments are accompanied by the prayers and fraternal best wishes of the priests, the lay faithful and all men and women of good will in the Diocese of Wichita, State of Kansas, United States of America.   


"The Miracle of Father Kapaun"

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, Newman University will be hosting a presentation and book signing event featuring Roy Wenzl, author of "The Miracle of Father Kapaun." The presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by the book signing. If you already have the book and would like it signed, you can bring it with you. There will be books available for purchase. The event will take place at the Newman University Campus, 3100 McCormick, Wichita, Kansas, in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.

Upcoming Event

On October 18, 2014, Chaplain Kapaun will be honored at Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge. Freedoms' Foundation is an organization that promotes the ideals of a free society by cultivating responsible citizenship. One of the ways that this is accomplished is by recognizing outstanding citizens. Last year Father Kapaun was inducted into the Medal of Honor Grove, recognizing those heroes that have been awarded that greatest of honors bestowed upon them by our government. This October 18, Chaplain Kapaun will be inducted to the Chaplains Grove which recognizes the role that Chaplains have played in our Nation's battles. On the 18th at 11:00 we will celebrate Mass at the Chapel at Freedoms Foundation. This will be followed by a short ceremony at the engraved monument recognizing Chaplain Kapaun's induction to the Chaplains Grove.

- Fr. John Hotze

Interesting Links

The two links below were sent by a friend of the Father Kapaun Guild, Franklin Rausch.  He is a university professor and has just returned from teaching a class in South Korea this summer.  He is quite the scholar and Catholicism in South Korea is one of his many interests.  Check out the links below, they are quite interesting. 

- Fr. John Hotze

Letter to Bishop Mark Carroll - War is Terrible!

August 12, 1950

My Dear Bishop Carroll:

Please excuse the crudeness of this letter.  Yesterday I found this paper and ink in one of the abandoned houses of the Koreans.

I received your two letters written in July.  Many thanks for your kindness and remembrances in prayers.  It must be the prayers of the others which have saved me so far.  Three times we have been trapped by the Reds and have had to flee for our lives.  I lost everything I had except what I carried on my person.  I lost my jeep and trailer with all my equipment.  My assistant was shot and is now in the hospital.  The Protestant Chaplain who was working beside me, was hit by a mortar shell and lost part of his leg.  I was the only one who escaped unscathed.  I got another Mass Kit so I can say Mass when conditions permit.  Lost all of my records so I will have to guess about what to report.  In July I said Mass every Sunday except one (when I had no Mass Kit), attendance about 200.  I prepared soldiers in Confession and Holy Communion, I guess between 300 and 400 times.  I administered Extreme Unction many times.  Most of my Catholic soldiers are prepared.  I baptized two boys before battle and prepared about six or eight for their First Confessions and Holy Communion.  I carry the Holy Oils and the Blessed Sacrament with me at all times.  For nearly two weeks we were in battle, with no rest.  Many of my soldiers suffered heat exhaustion and sun stroke in this awful heat and climbing mountains.  We are on the front lines but the Reds have not tried to advance for several days.  That gives us a little much-needed rest.  We killed thousands.  They outnumber us about 15-1 (we were told).  Now since we have received more help, they outnumber us about 3-1.  If that is the case, we should give them a good licking.  War is terrible!  I feel sorry for the Korean people who have to leave their homes.  As the Reds approach, nearly everything is destroyed – homes, lives and food.  I hope these people can return in time to harvest their rice so they have some food for winter.

We have no mail censorship and this letter does not contain any vital information except the ratio of the out numbering.  Maybe this has been printed in the newspapers already.  Our mail reaches us fairly well.  I am glad to be with the soldiers in time of need.  So far, I have been right on the front lines giving absolution and Extreme Unction to the dying.  I had no chance to change clothes and my uniform got all bloody.  I’ve got a clean one now and I hope it will not be stained with blood.

Father Emil Kapaun

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