In a small rural town in Missouri, thousands of people gathered to visit the body of a Catholic nun named Sister Wilhemina Lancaster. The trap ? She passed away in 2019. Despite the passage of time, her body showed minimal signs of decomposition, sparking both fear and speculation.
Sister Wilhemina Lancaster of the Very Holy Rosary, OSB, passed away on May 29, 2019, at the age of 95. Recently, when the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles of the Monastery in Gower, Missouri, moved Lancaster’s body to their chapel, they made a surprising discovery. Expecting nothing but bones, as she was neither embalmed nor placed in anything other than a wooden coffin, the sisters found her body to be almost perfectly intact.
The absence of decay, although not embalmed, is a phenomenon associated with the concept of “incorruptible saints” in the Catholic tradition. These individuals, who would have witnessed the resurrection of the body and life after death, show little or no signs of decay years after their death.
The preservation of Sister Wilhemina has generated widespread interest and raised important questions. The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph issued a statement recognizing the interest and need for a thorough investigation while protecting the integrity of Sister Wilhelmina’s remains.
Not only was Sister Wilhemina’s body intact, but her clothing and the items with which she was buried were also remarkably preserved. The sisters, not knowing how to proceed, cleaned a mask of thick mold from his face and created a wax mask for his face and hands. Despite some damage during the conservation process, the body remained relatively intact.
The discovery attracted thousands of people to the rural town to pay their respects to Sister Wilhemina, sparking discussions about whether it was a miracle or not. The body was displayed for several days before being locked in a glass case near the altar of the chapel.
The story sparked a mixture of awe, belief in the miraculous, and skepticism, prompting continued discussion and reflection.