Thousands of pilgrims visited the monastery in Gower, Missouri, to see the nun’s body, which showed no signs of decay four years after her death.
Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, Founder of the Benedictine Order monastery Mary, Queen of the Apostles, died in 2019 at the age of 95. When her body was exhumed for placement in her monastery chapel some four years after her death, she was found to be “incorruptible”. “A term that refers to protecting the body from normal decay.
“Last month, in preparation for the construction of the shrine, we exhumed her. She was buried four years ago in a plain wooden coffin without any embalming, so the very wet clay of Missouri It was said that the bones were buried in the monastery.” Declared.
However, when the coffin was opened in front of the local population, the body was covered in a layer of mold, but the nun’s remains and her religious practices had hardly decayed for four years.
“I thought I saw a perfectly intact leg, so I said, ‘I didn’t just see it.'” Said Mother Cecilia, OSB, Abbot of the Monastery.
The abbot added that she looked carefully again and then cried out, “I see her legs!” Afterwards, the community “just cheered.”
“I think she’s the first African-American woman to be found corrupt,” said Mother Cecilia.
The late Sister Wilhelmina, known for her devotion to the traditional Latin Mass, founded the Convent of Mary Queen of the Apostles in 1995 at the age of 70.
News of the discovery that her body appeared to be undecayed spread quickly, and an official inquiry was made, along with a preliminary statement from St. Joseph Parish of Kansas City.
“The condition of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster’s body has rightfully caused widespread concern and raised important questions,” he said. statement To read. “At the same time, it is important to protect the integrity of Sister Wilhelmina’s remains to allow for a thorough investigation.”
Local Bishop James Johnston continued, “We are working to establish a thorough process to understand the nature of the condition of Sister Wilhelmina’s remains,” adding that the incorruption “has been verified in the past, but It’s very rare,” he said.
“There are well-established processes for pursuing saintly causes, but they have not yet been initiated in this case,” the report added.
The Benedictine sisters said in a statement that they believed the founder was a very holy woman, but had not initiated the process of her beatification, i.e. being declared a saint in the Catholic Church. rice field.
“We can attest to the personal sanctity of the Sisters, but that immortality is not included in the official seal the Church takes as a saintly miracle, and that all , we know that it needs to be subject to further scrutiny by competent authorities, especially in the medical field,” they said.
Sister Wilhelmina’s body was kept in the monastery chapel until Sunday, when the sisters performed the Rosary procession. On Monday, the body will be placed in a glass temple near the altar of St. Joseph in the chapel.