Those who are interested in Fr Doyle generally take an active interest in devotion towards other heroic military chaplains. History is full of saintly military chaplains; one of them – St Lawrence of Brindisi – is even a Doctor of the Church.
Given the horrors and bloodshed of the last century there is no surprise that quite a few military chaplains died with well established reputations for sanctity and that some, like Fr Doyle, willingly gave up their lives in their service to their men.
Two such military chaplains have been in the news this week, and it is appropriate that we recognise them here.
The Servant of God, Fr Emil Kapaun, whose cause for beatification is underway, has been in the news recently. A campaign is underway to have him awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Fr Kapaun lived a life as chaplain in the Korean War that in many respects was similar to that of Fr Doyle. He died in May 1951 in a prisoner of war camp with a great reputation for holiness and for service to those in the camp. You may read more about his life, and the campaign to have the Medal of Honor awarded here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17224774
Also this week comes news of a possible miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Fr Franz Stock. Fr Stock was a German military chaplain who ministered to prisoners of war in Paris. His was the last human face that many people saw before their execution by the Nazis, and his role in assisting the French makes him a symbol of reconciliation and peace between the French and the Germans. The possible miracle involves a young man in San Francisco who was allegedly cured of incurable stomach cancer. His doctors had given up hope of his recovery and sent him home to die, but the cancer is said to have disappeared following prayers for Fr Stock’s intercession. You may read more about this possible miracle here: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/04/18/vatican-considers-healing-attributed-to-death-camp-archangel-in-hell/ and about his life in general here: http://www.clairval.com/lettres/en/2007/11/21/2211107.htm
Hopefully in time these causes will progress and we will be able to recognise two new saints who were military chaplains. With so many military chaplains of the 20th Century being formally recognised for their holiness, perhaps Fr Doyle’s time will also come.