The Rev. Emil Kapaun

Obama Awards Catholic Army Chaplain Medal of Honor

President Obama presents the Medal of Honor on Thursday to Ray Kapaun, Emil Kapaun’s nephew. Photo courtesy RNS.

A candidate for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama Thursday at the White House.

The Rev. Emil Kapaun, a priest who served as an Army chaplain in the Korean War, was recognized for his bravery on the battlefield and in a prisoner-of-war camp.

During battles, Kapaun would run into enemy fire to save wounded Americans or comfort the dying. When he was captured and taken to a prisoner-of-war camp, he defied the guards in order to care for other soldiers, physically and spiritually, until he died in 1951.