Veteran's Day; Soldiers & Saints

Fr. Tim Vakoc, Military Chaplain, RIP

A Hero is as a Hero Does

Nice posts at Hot Air and at Deacon Greg’s place and elsewhere, but I like this piece by Frank Weathers, because it reminds us that (as with this priest) soldiers and saints are sometimes one and the same:

Martin of Tours by Charles L. O’Donnell

“As I today was wayfaring”—
Holy, Holy, Holy!—low—
Said Christ in heaven’s evening—
The Holies yet more hushed and slow—
“I met a knight upon the road;
A plumed charger he bestrode.

“He saw the beggar that was I—
Holy, Holy, Holy I—long—
Head and foot one beggary—
Holy, Holy, Holy!—song—
One that shivered in the cold
While his horse trailed cloth of gold.

Read the rest here. And also read more about St. Martin of Tours and the origin of Veteran’s Day.

CS Lewis on why we honor vets

And let’s have a look at some heroic military chaplains.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The Anchoress | A First Things Blog --

  • Ken in Kansas

    This put me in mind of the story of the four Chaplins on the USAT Dorchester who gave their life vests to others there by also giving their lives so others might live.

    four chaplains

  • Paul Pluth

    I have made Father Tim’s photo my desktop background on this Armistice Day/Veterans Day/St. Martin of Tours Feast. I will view him continually throughout my work day, reflect on his sacrifice, pray for him, and ask myself what I offer to the Lord compared to this. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord… Father Paul Pluth, Archdiocese of Seattle

  • Sarah

    You need to note he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the US Congress in 1968. That should be enough evidence of valor for anyone.

  • Sarah

    This is his citation:

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant Marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

  • From World Champs Giants Baseball Territory

    We love Fr. Capodanno in our home! Thanks for this post. I’ll send it to our many vets.

    May God bless our vets, our military chaplains and our troops still in harm’s way.

  • Tigger23505


    more soldier saints.

  • Julia

    Here’s some stuff about Fr Emil Kapaun from Kansas who died in a North Korean POW camp in 1951 saving the lives of many men – keeping up their spirits, defying the N Koreans and then Chinese guards.

    This is a link to the first of a 9 part series by the Wichita Beacon on Fr Kapaun and the cause for his sainthood – the series began on All Saints Day two years ago and ended just about Veterans’ Day that year.


    If you are intrigued – the other 8 parts are just incredible. What a story of his bravery on the battlefield and then the horrible months in the North Korean POW camp where men were dropping like flies and a saintly priest bravely tended to them until he became ill and the Chinese dropped him in a room filled with feces and maggots to die alone two days later. In his memory, one of the Jewish POWs put together a crucifix with barbed wire as the crown of thorns, telling the guards it was Abraham Lincoln. Throughout the series there are short clips of the POWs speaking about their experiences with Fr Kapaun who received both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor. Also the young man who recovery from a horrendous head wound after prayers to Fr Kapaun is being investigated as a miracle