The Saint Makers: Inside the Catholic Church and How a War Hero Inspired a Journey of Faith

Hachette. Dec. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780316268813. $28. REL
Sports journalist Drape (The Race for the Triple Crown) has written an absorbing story exploring the process of how a saint is made within the Catholic Church, centered on the cause of Fr. Emil Kapaun, a Kansas-born priest. Sent to Korea as a chaplain, Fr. Kapaun displayed incredible courage under fire, aiding and ministering to Americans on the battlefield and in a Chinese POW camp, where he later died. For his heroic exploits, Fr. Kapaun earned the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, and, posthumously, the Medal of Honor. While examining the lengthy and often expensive canonization process, Drape highlights the priests and canon lawyers working closely to establish Kapaun’s virtue, holiness, and miracles attributable to Kapaun’s intercession, while also shepherding the cause through various Vatican offices. Drape continues by thoughtfully exploring his complex relationship with his faith, burnished by his research into Fr. Kapaun, amid the ongoing abuse scandal while yearning for a deeper and more meaningful spirituality.
VERDICT This insightful account will appeal to readers who enjoy stories about faith and war heroics, and those interested in saint making within the Catholic Church.
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