GOWER, Mo. — Thousands of people are flocking to a rural Catholic monastery to witness a Memorial Day weekend miracle.
But miracles don’t typically offer preparation time. The remains of a late Catholic nun are attracting major tourist traffic, as word spreads about the intact nature of her corpse.
In Gower, Missouri, thousands of people are spending this Memorial Day weekend seeking a blessing, visiting the remains of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, which are gathering attention from all across the United States. Sister Lancaster, who passed away in 2019, served at the Benedictine Mary Queen of Apostles Monastery.
Crowds arrive to find a Latin Mass being served. Attendance has grown since word of Sister Lancaster’s incorrupt remains being exhumed. When workers unearthed her corpse on April 28, intending to inter it in a new location, her remains were found to be intact — four years after her burial.
Catholics in attendance on Friday said they believe this to be a blessing from God and the makings of a modern-day miracle.
“As of Tuesday, they were seeing about 1,000 visitors a day. I think now, it’s probably well above that. The expectation is the crowd will grow over the holiday weekend,” said Ashlie Hand, a spokesperson with the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
“I think you have some curious. I think you have some who are very devout in their faith. It’s probably everything in between.”
Crowds have grown to the point that police have added a mobile command center, and more land has been cleared to park cars. Also, 316th Street outside the monastery will become a one-way thoroughfare on Saturday, carrying cars west to east.
Catholics in attendance told FOX4 they could feel God’s presence at the monastery, as various believers showed up, hopeful for a blessing or a miracle of their own.
“These are obviously people of good faith who came here to see something you don’t get to see every day — an incorruptible saint. There aren’t that many of those,” said Brian Stransky, who drove from Omaha.
“It just felt like the presence of God was there as soon as I went into the monastery. It’s a true miracle. I really think that,” said Rita Cospelich, a visitor from Blue Springs, Missouri. “God works in strange ways with miracles.”
“It shows that our church is really alive, even though most paths we see the church going down. I can see that the church still has a future,” Fr. Daniel Adjei, a Catholic priest from Des Moines, told FOX4.
Hand said the diocese believes as many as 20,000 people could visit this weekend. Visiting hours run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.