Over the weekend, a large number of people visited a small Missouri town to view the body of a nun who had not undergone significant decomposition since she died in 2019.
The town of Gower, which is inhabited by about 150,000 people, received thousands of visitors, who saw through a glass shrine the body of the nun, Wilhelmina Lancaster, who died about four years ago.
The website of the local KCTV channel said that Lancaster’s coffin cracked and moisture leaked inside, but her body is still in excellent condition.
According to reports, the body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, the founder of Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles has been found incorrupt in Missouri four years after her death. pic.twitter.com/W4RLbx3sYR— Sachin Jose (@Sachinettiyil) May 22, 2023
The body of Lancaster, who died at the age of 95 last April, was exhumed nearly four years after her death on May 29, 2019, to add a shrine, according to the Abbey of the Benedictine of Mary, Queen of Up states in Gower.
When she was exhumed, the nuns expected to see only bones, because she was buried in a simple wooden coffin without any embalming four years ago, and instead they saw her body almost as it was.
Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, founder of the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, passed away in May of 2019.— Dr. Andrew Swafford (@andrew_swafford) May 27, 2023
While moving her remains to their new chapel, they found her to be incorrupt!
We joined thousands of pilgrims this week in Gower, MO to give thanks and praise! pic.twitter.com/zq7E695bpV
Volunteers and local law enforcement helped organize the crowds that came to the small town, which added pressure on its ill-prepared infrastructure, according to a local official.
Samuel Dawson, 63, who was among the visitors, said: “With all the negativity in the world, it was lovely to see people of all races from all over the country coming together in peace.”
“It’s unbelievable. Only God can do it. This is something I didn’t want to miss because it happens once in a lifetime,” Parfait Myaktsindela said.
The local “KACG” channel said that for Catholics it is a sign of holiness, while others believe that non-decomposition may not be as rare as people think.
While the Archdiocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph noted in a statement that non-dissolving is very rare.
The Abbey of “Benedictine of Mary, Queen of Obstacles” said Lancaster had not yet reached the minimum required five years since death to be considered a matter of sainthood.
While KICG quoted Rebecca George, a professor of anthropology at Western Carolina University in North Carolina, as saying that non-decomposition may not be rare, noting that coffins and clothing may protect the bodies.