A nun whose body has barely decayed since her death has unintentionally attracted hundreds to the site of her burial in a small US town.
People from all over the US traveled to Gower, Missouri, to witness the body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster – unexpectedly found intact after being exhumed in April by nuns of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles order.
The visitors were able to see and touch her corpse which has hardly decomposed since her burial in 2019.
They were also allowed to take a teaspoon of dirt from her grave.
Sister Lancaster, a founder of the order, was buried four years ago without any embalming – the act of preserving a corpse by treating it with chemicals – in a plain wooden coffin.
She was exhumed by the monastery in preparation for a new shrine to be installed involving her “reinterment” and was discovered with “a perfectly preserved religious habit”, according to the nunnery’s statement.
Around 1,800 people flocked to the town after a private email mentioning the news mistakenly went public and the “news began to spread like wildfire”.