Nun's body exhumed four years after death shows no signs of decay in 'miracle'
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The body of a nun who died four years ago shows no visible signs of decomposition, prompting claims that it could be a modern day miracle.
Hundreds of people have flocked to the rural town of Gower in Missouri to visit the remains of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster who died in May 2019 aged 95.
In 1995, aged 70, Lancaster founded the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles. According to the Catholic News Agency, last Thursday Benedictine nuns dug up the coffin of their founder so it could be moved and placed under the altar in the chapel.
The nuns had been told to expect ‘just bones’, due to the fact she had been buried ‘without embalming and in a simple wood coffin’.
So you can probably imagine their surprise when they opened it up and found an ‘incorrupt’ body.
Mother Cecilia Snell told the Eternal World Television Network: “I had to have the flashlight because you can’t really see in a dark crack even with the sunshine. I thought I saw a foot, but I just paused because, you know, it’s not every day you look into a coffin.
“So there’s kind of a sense of a little bit of hesitation — what am I going to see?”
She went on: “I thought I saw a completely full, intact foot and I said, ‘I didn’t just see that,’.
“So I looked again more carefully.”
Upon taking a second look, she confirmed that it was a complete foot and let out a cheer.
The sister then fully opened the coffin and were astonished to discover her body showed pretty much no signs of outward decomposition.
Speaking to Newsweek, one nun said: “The dirt that fell in early on had pushed down on her facial features, especially the right eye, so we did place a wax mask over it. But her eyelashes, hair, eyebrows, nose and lips were all present, her mouth just about to smile.”
Snell believes that the unusual occurrence came from God Himself.
“I mean there was just this sense that the Lord was doing this,” she said. “Right now we need hope. We need it. Our Lord knows that. And she was such a testament to hope. And faith. And trust.”
Bishop James Johnston, of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, has released a statement in regards to the remains.
He said: “The condition of the remains of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster has understandably generated widespread interest and raised important questions.
"At the same time, it is important to protect the integrity of the mortal remains of Sister Wilhelmina to allow for a thorough investigation.”