GOWER, Mo. — A Missouri sheriff’s office says residents should expect a significant increase in traffic as hundreds travel to see a nun’s exhumed, “incorrupt” body.
Catholic faithfuls from across the country are making the pilgrimage to the small town of Gower, Missouri, to witness what they describe as a miracle.
Four years after her burial, the Benedictine monastery recently exhumed the body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, who was the African American foundress of the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.
The sisters told the Catholic News Agency that after her death she was buried but not embalmed. They had plans to move her body to a final resting place inside their monastery chapel.
They expected to find bones in her cracked wooden coffin, but instead found no real signs of decay after four years.
In the words of the sisters, it is “incorrupt.” The word incorrupt lends special meaning to Catholics as it signals a possible path to sainthood.
Even Wilhelmina’s habit, which was made of cheap material, looked good to the sisters. They told the Catholic News Agency all they did was wash away a thin layer of mold and do some wax coating on the body’s face and hands.
The news has made national headlines, bringing people in from across the country.
On Tuesday, license plates from Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and even Pennsylvania showed how far people were driving to visit.
Now on Thursday, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents they might see a significant increase in traffic as people travel to Gower to see the body. According to the sisters, they will eventually encase Sister Wilhelmina in glass for long-term viewing.