Stunned people claimed a miracle when a nun’s body showed little sign of decomposition after it was exhumed.
The body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster was exhumed in the small town of Gower, Missouri, who died aged 95 in May 2019.
Sister Wilhelmina founded the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles win she was 70.
We went out to her grave to say the rosary after the sisters finished the digging,” one sister said to Newsweek. “Mother Abbess Cecilia looked through the crack made in the coffin, which very clearly occurred soon after her burial.
“She saw a totally intact foot with the sock on, looking just like it did when we had buried her. She could not help but scream with joy.”
They added: “We took turns feeling the still-socked feet, very damp, but all there. 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.”
The sister continued: “After we cleaned off the mould and mildew because of the wet conditions in the coffin, it looked like we had just put [the habit] on her that day. This was a testament to her love for the sisterhood and what she was passing down to us who followed her.”
Now on display, a sign next to the body says “Please be gentle when touching sister’s body, especially her feet!”
Associate professor and director of forensic anthropology at Western Carolina University Nicholas Passalacqua told the news outlet that the sister’s body may have been well preserved depending on temperature, the environment the body is in and if it was been chemically treated.
The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles)DON’T MISS
“The warmer it is, the more active bacteria and enzymes will be and also the more active insect scavengers will be because their metabolisms are correlated to ambient temperature,” the professor said.
“If the remains have been treated with chemicals, then this will drastically slow the decomposition process.”
The body is on display until May 29 and it will then be moved to the altar.