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  • Hachette Books

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

Joe Drape

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Religion & beliefs

New York Times journalist and bestselling author Joe Drape takes us inside the modern-day process of the making of a saint -- part biography of a wartime adventurer Father Emil Kapaun, part detective story, and part journey of faith.

Award-winning writer Joe Drape chronicles the unlikely alliance between Father Hotze and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, a country priest and a cosmopolitan Italian canon lawyer, as the two piece together the life of a long dead Korean War hero and military chaplain and fashion it into a case for eternal divinity. The Saint Makers offers a front row seat to the Catholic Church's saint-making machinery -- which has changed little in two thousand years -- and examines how, or if, faith and science can co-exist.

The Saint Makers leads readers from the plains of Kansas to the opulent halls of the Vatican, and into the modest ranch homes of the two individuals, Avery Gerleman and Chase Kear, whose lives were threatened by illness and injury and whose family and friends prayed to Father Kapaun, sparking miraculous recoveries in the heart of America. Gerleman is now a nurse. Kear works as a mechanic in the aerospace industry. Both remain devoted to Father Kapaun. In many ways, his sainthood lies in their belief and medical charts.

Most of all, The Saint Makers is the story of a journey of faith -- for two priests separated by seventy years, for the two young athletes who were miraculously brought back to life with (or without) the intervention of the divine, as well as for readers -- and the author -- trying to understand and accept what makes a person truly worthy of the Congregation of Saints in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

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