Maryknoll Father Vincent R. Capodanno, a Navy chaplain who was killed while serving with the Marines in Vietnam, is pictured ministering in the field in an undated photo. (CNS photo/courtesy Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers)

In his death on the battlefield and in all his time serving men in battle, Fr. Vincent Capodanno completely ignored the basic instinct for survival. He cared more about serving and saving others than he did about himself.

Labor Day, September 4, 1967, in the United States was just like so many other Labor Days before: the last day before the start of school, a federal holiday, banks and stores closed, and people preparing to join friends and family for backyard barbeques.

But some 8,000 miles away in South Vietnam it marked the start of an epic 11 day battle known as Operation SWIFT. Today it is primarily remembered by military history buffs, as well as those who honor the memory of a Navy chaplain who lost his life after 30 minutes of battle, Fr. Vincent Capodanno, MM.

But what Father did during those 30 minutes not only earned him the Medal of Honor, it has propelled his beatification cause.

From Staten Island to South Vietnam

Born February 13, 1929, Capodanno grew up on Staten Island, New York, the youngest of nine children born to a Brooklyn-born mother of Italian ancestry and a father who immigrated to New York from Gaeta, Italy. According to his last surviving sister Gloria Holman, the home was a happy one, and “Vin” or “Junior” “was serious, his personality, more so than not, you know?”

His cousin Al Lambert remembers Junior, like his mother, had a fantastic sense of humor, and when he laughed, his whole body shook. He also says he was very fastidious.

Read more at Catholic World Report – http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/11/11/the-dramatic-story-of-the-priest-who-died-on-a-south-vietnam-battlefield/