GOWER, Mo. — The body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster was placed in a glass enclosure weeks after she was exhumed and found to be “incorrupt,” despite being buried in a wooden coffin without embalming four years ago.
Her body is still intact, leading thousands of people to make the pilgrimage to a rural Catholic monastery.
“I was so nervous,” Holly Smothers said. “I never felt the kind of nervous that I had.”
Outside the Gower monastery, people young and old lined up to witness what some are calling a miracle.
“We are believers, I’m a believer,” Father Luis Felipe Suarez said. “People want to see and touch.”
“I felt a very strong emotion to come to this,” Dan Smothers said.
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles expected to only find bones in her cracked wooden coffin, but instead found no real signs of decay after four years.
“What I’m taking in today it builds my faith so much,” Fr. Suarez said. “Something beautiful is going to happen after death, and this is proof there’s resurrection for everybody.”
Since the news broke of Sister Wilhelmina’s body’s condition, thousands have traveled for a chance to see her and leave with the dirt that once covered the grave, among those who attended was a couple from Blue Springs.
“It was a lot to process,” Holly Smothers said. “It took me a long time to think about how this miracle was occurring and what it means to our family.”
“I said this type of experience is not something people experience in their life,” Dan Smothers said.” It’s not only important to Catholicism but all of Christianity.”
Sister Wilhelmina’s body was moved into a glass enclosure for long-term viewing.
As far as the influx of traffic into the small town of Gower, the under-sheriff with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department says everything has been smooth so far.